Ready to Leave Those Pain Relievers Behind? Physical Therapy Can Provide You With Relief
If you’re taking pain relievers and just don’t want to stay dependent on them forever, physical therapy can be exactly the solution you need.
Physical therapy can be very beneficial for both short-term pain (usually, that which lasts just a few weeks or months) and long-term or chronic pain (that which lasts for more than three months).
The opioid epidemic is often in the news, and it may have started you thinking about the effect that pain pills are having on your life. You might be tired of needing to take pain relievers every day when you wake up, during the day as you struggle to move without pain, and at night just to sleep comfortably.
Fortunately, physical therapy can provide you with long-lasting relief. Physical therapy can help you govern your pain without drugs, giving you a chance to break away from your reliance on opioids.
Relieving pain with physical therapy
Physical therapy can help you get a handle on your pain so that you don’t need opioids anymore. Of course, you should only discontinue high doses of opioids under professional medical supervision (to prevent a potentially dangerous withdrawal).
In the meantime, however, our physicaltherapist can work with you on treating the biomechanical problems that caused your pain in the first place.
Here are just a few of the physical therapy modalities that can help you conquer your pain:
Exercises can increase your pain-free range of motion, strengthen the muscles that support your body, and increase blood flow to reduce inflammation.
Massage therapy can control painful muscle spasms, help the tissues expel inflammatory substances, and direct more blood and oxygen to an injury.
Laser therapy can ease pain caused by injuries, arthritis, muscular strain, tendinitis, or neuropathy.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses electrical energy to block pain signals to nerves.
The many benefits of physical therapy
Physical therapists are now equipped to help you in two different ways: by restoring your function and relieving your pain.
Your physical therapist restores your function by strengthening the weakened muscles, ligaments, tendons, and body tissues. This allows your body to heal and gives you the strong support system you need to enjoy full function long-term.
In addition to getting stronger, you’ll also get pain relief from the newest evidence-based pain interventions.
Your doctor and physical therapist can work together to help you feel better. Instead of opioid pain medications, which can be addictive and even deadly, your doctor may prescribe an option like nerve membrane stabilizers and then send you to a skilled physical therapist who can help you heal without the interference of opioid medications.
Your physical therapist can also help you with stress management.
If you’re dealing with stress and anxiety because of your pain, physical therapy can improve your life by teaching you new mindfulness techniques like meditation, stress reduction exercises, and other alternative ways to deal with situations that tend to lead to problems.
Opioids vs. physical therapy
Opioid medication does play a role in pain management, but it’s really best for situations where you feel severe pain immediately after the injury or immediately after surgery. Ideally, opioid medication should be used sparingly and only for a week or less.
Opioid medication was never designed to be the type of drug that you take for months, years, or a lifetime. Opiates can trigger extreme sensitivity in your pain receptors, which is why they may end up making your pain even worse over time.
That’s why physical therapy is such a good alternative. It allows you to bypass that chronic dependency. Physical therapy is designed to relieve pain without drugs.
If it seems too good to be true, just keep reading. You’ll learn how physical therapy can stop the pain and help you leave the pills behind for good.
Evidence supporting PT
As stated by the APTA website, “The White House has announced that APTA is among the organizations that have joined a public-private partnership to combat opioid usage and prescription drug abuse, and that the association will reach out to the public and its members to deliver the message that pain can be effectively managed through conservative, non-drug approaches.
Physical therapists can help individuals manage pain, and greater use of physical therapy could make a real impact on the tragic levels of drug abuse in this country—abuse that often begins with a prescription for pain medication.”