The Dangerous Truth About Taking Prescription Painkillers…
Look in your medicine cabinet. What do you see? Creams, lotions, little bottles of eye drops? Or are all those things hidden by a wall of painkillers?
Are you taking opioids for your arthritis pain? If you are, you should be aware that opioids like morphine and oxycodone are actually making your arthritis worse.
Prescription medication may “relieve” your pain for a while by blocking your ability to perceive it, but they don’t eliminate it. So if you’re taking an opioid and believe it’s relieving your pain, know that it’s actually doing nothing to improve the symptoms of your arthritis. Opioids are not the only option you have to get relief from arthritis! Call Paul Wiener Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to learn more about how treatment can help.
What causes arthritis?
Osteoarthritis, more commonly called “arthritis,” is a degenerative condition that affects your joints. The connecting joints between bones are made of cartilage, and if that cartilage becomes weak or depleted, it can cause bones to grind and scrape together.
Aging is one of the main causes of arthritis. Unfortunately, our joints just wear out as we age and that’s normal. However, there are other factors like genetics, repetitive physical jobs, playing high-impact sports, or being overweight, which can increase a person’s chances of developing arthritis. This condition also affects weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees, but it’s common for it to also develop in many other joints.
How can I know if my pain is caused by arthritis?
There are many signs and symptoms that can tip you off from having arthritis.
Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like a joint or two was stiff? The most common symptom of arthritis is a pain in the joint or joints that have lost too much cartilage. Or what about everyday activities, do you notice that simple tasks like bending down are painful for you? This is a sign you may have arthritis. Activities that use an affected joint will cause pain; the joint will hurt if you touch it or apply pressure to it. A joint can also be considered arthritic if it makes cracking and popping noises when it is used. As a defense mechanism, your body might try to grow new bone structures in the affected joint, which will be extremely painful.
Physical therapy as a natural pain reliever for arthritis
As previously stated, opioids can alter how you perceive pain so that your brain thinks you are no longer suffering from the effects of arthritis. Although this might seem like a good idea at first, you should know that opioids are serving as a bandaid for your pain, not a solution!
When you have arthritis, your bones are still grinding together, your cartilage is being worn down, and ultimately your condition is worsening. Before you know it, you’ll be in need of an even stronger painkiller, and most likely a pretty expensive surgery down the road.
There are better options out there to relieve arthritis pain that doesn’t involve potential addiction to pain medication. Physical therapy is one of them!
Physical therapy can help you get rid of painkillers once and for all, and also keep you from spending thousands for surgery. A physical therapist does a full assessment of your condition to determine what activities trigger your pain symptoms. From there, he or she will create a customized exercise program that will help support your joint structures and ultimately relieve your arthritis pain.
A physical therapist will be able to show you how to adjust your work area and home so that you can put less stress on the impacted joints. There is a multitude of different therapies, but manual therapy (targeted massage of painful joints) will probably be included in your treatment.
Your physical therapy treatment will also include an exercise plan for you to do at home to improve your health. Losing weight can also be an effective way to relieve arthritis pain, so if you’re overweight, your therapist might include weight loss exercises and advice on nutrition in your exercise plan. It won’t all be on you to bear though, your physical therapist will be there to keep you motivated throughout your entire treatment.
Call our clinic to make an appointment today
Opioids may temporarily numb the pain of arthritis, but they do nothing to slow it down. It’s time to try physical therapy, a safe and effective alternative that will improve your symptoms without the threat of addiction, or worse, death from an accidental overdose.