April 12, 2019
The opioid crisis is one topic that dominates the news lately, and it is real and very serious. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the country, but “there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.” To be sure, there are cases that warrant prescribing opioids, and the CDC issued guidelines in 2016 for their use for cancer treatment, palliative care, end-of-life care and certain acute care situations. However, physical therapy can be an excellent alternative. Read on to learn when PT is recommended for pain management in Richardson.
When to Choose Physical Therapy Over Opioids
The risks of opioid use outweigh the rewards. Like any other medication, opioids can have side effects including depression, overdose and addiction. In addition, there can be difficult withdrawal symptoms when stopping. Therefore, the CDC guidelines state, “opioids should not be considered first line or routine therapy for chronic pain.” Non-opioid treatment plans typically offer much lower risks.
Opioids will only mask the pain. Opioids work by blocking pain signals to the brain. Physical therapy, on the other hands, treats pain through movement, mobility and muscle strength.
Pain is in the low back. When pain or function issues are related to low back pain, hip or knee osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, then physical therapy treatment is preferable. The CDC has found “high-quality evidence” to support exercise for these conditions.
Combination treatment is recommended. Even when opioids are prescribed by a doctor according to CDC guidelines that call for the “lowest effective dosage,” physical therapy may also be advised in conjunction with medication.
Pain that last longer than 90 days. After 90 days, pain is considered chronic, and the risks associated with continued opioid use rise. Some 116 million American suffer chronic pain every year. The CDC guidelines support non-opioid therapies for treatment of chronic pain.
Physical Therapy Treatments
Physical therapy is a type of treatment that is designed to increase mobility and decrease pain. In addition to easing pain, PT may also be used to:
- Improve movement
- Treat a sports injury
- Recover after another type of injury, accident or surgery
- Take care of a chronic illness
- Prevent disability or surgery
People of all ages have physical therapy, and it is often used to improve a variety of health problems.
If you physician has mentioned opioids to treat pain, perhaps you should first consider physical therapy for pain management in Richardson. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Zinovy Chukhman is a chiropractor in Richardson who is trained and experienced in all manner of pain relief and wellness. If you need conservative pain management, hormone therapy, medical weight loss, or anti-aging treatment, call the office today to schedule an appointment.
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