Over the years, Americans have increasingly been prescribed painkillers. In some cases, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, this does not change the fact that people addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to life-threatening drugs like heroin.
Even if reducing pain through opioids is a legitimate treatment, yet, physical therapy can be a better first-line treatment, without the long-term consequence of drug addiction. Let’s understand in depth.
1 . Physical Therapy is safe
Common side effects of opioids include depression, overdose, and addiction. One can even experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping the opioid use. Physical therapy (under an expert’s supervision) doesn’t include such side effects. Your physical therapist can help you improve your ability to move and function optimally, without the need for habit-forming pain medication.
2 . Physical Therapy offers long-term benefits
Physical therapy attempts to ease pain and treat your underlying condition. If pain has persisted for more than three months, it’s considered chronic. Opioids medicines only mask pain from chronic conditions and are unable to treat its cause.
3 . Physical Therapy is individualized
Physical therapists can provide you with a personalized plan to help you fix the source of pain. Therapists make sure people understand their pain histories and help them set realistic expectations for treatment.
4 . Physical Therapy has the humane touch
Physical therapy makes people less fearful of pain and takes a more active approach to getting better. In fact, developing a positive relationship with a physical therapist and being an active participant in recovery can positively affect your outcomes. When you are in the company of a good physical therapist, you also learn postural correction strategies. This only helps you prevent chronic pain (triggered by incorrect postural habits) in the future.
5 . Physical Therapy is relaxing
While the effect of painkiller medicine wears off after a specific time, some of the complementary physical therapy interventions de-stress your for long.
Hot Packs and Cold Packs (used to decrease pain and alter local circulation to manage inflammation), and Soft Tissue Massage (to relax muscles and muscular spasm) can act like stress busters.
Caution: Before you agree to a particular line of treatment, consult with a physical therapist to discuss your options. Consult your doctor to safely and effectively manage your pain. Ask if you can receive “the lowest effective dosage,” or opioids “should be combined” with nonopioid therapies, such as physical therapy.