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Seeking Natural Pain Relief? Physical Therapy Could Be Your Answer

Ready to Find Pain Relief Without the Side Effects of Opioids?

In today’s world, pain is a major issue. An estimated one out of every five Americans suffers from chronic pain, with 8% of those suffering from pain so severe that they are unable to carry out their daily tasks. It’s no surprise, then, that painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications have become a multibillion-dollar industry.

Unfortunately, these medications come with their own set of issues, ranging from addiction to potentially fatal effects on internal organs. Many folks are looking for pain alleviation that doesn’t come in the form of pills. If you’re one of these folks, you should be aware of physical therapy’s incredible pain-relieving capabilities.

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.”

So, instead of turning to opioids, consider physical therapy first!

The big problem with painkillers

A number of over-the-counter and prescription drugs claim to temporarily relieve pain and inflammation. For patients suffering from painful auto-immune illnesses, steroids do this by dampening the immune system (such as rheumatoid arthritis).

However, the same immune-suppressing ability renders the body more susceptible to infection. Cataracts, glaucoma, hypertension, water retention, acne, excessive blood sugar, and osteoporosis have all been linked to long-term steroid use. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) prevent the body from producing inflammatory molecules.

These drugs aren’t necessarily safe, either. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding and kidney damage in some individuals. They have also been associated with elevated heart attack and stroke risks.

Opioid medications provide perhaps the most serious threat. Opioids are capable of numbing more than simply pain. In 2017, these potent medicines resulted in almost 70,000 death overdoses. Although some of the deaths may have been caused by recreational drug use, more than 60% of those who died were chronic pain sufferers.

Benefits of physical therapy for chronic pain

As a safe, effective, and all-natural pain management method, physical therapy has various advantages.

When creating a physical therapy plan for pain management, a physical therapist considers each individual’s symptoms (and the underlying reasons of those symptoms). It’s possible that your strategy will involve modalities like:

  • Electrical nerve stimulation to interrupt pain signals
  • Cold laser therapy and/or massage therapy to boost circulation, relax tissues, and reduce inflammation
  • Resistance training exercises to strengthen muscles, making physical actions less of a strain
  • Aerobic exercises to get the blood flowing and encourage joint lubrication
  • A soothing combination of heat therapy and cryotherapy
  • Chiropractic adjustment to help joints move more freely and correct painful musculoskeletal imbalances

Physical therapy can do more than just help you feel better. By providing you with non-pharmaceutical pain control measures, this form of care can help you steer clear of the side effects of prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Physical therapy has yet another important role to play in relieving pain patients of their symptoms. Some physical therapists use “brain-rewiring” techniques like graded motor imagery to assist patients build a new perspective of their pain, allowing them to master and reduce their reactions to it. This type of physical therapy aims to give people better control over their pain so they can endure more exercise, which in turn lessens discomfort.

Better yet, you’re going beyond the temporary numbing of your symptoms by actually treating the underlying causes of those symptoms. Why settle for the illusion of relief when you can have the real thing — and improve your health and functionality in the process?

Other facts about opioids

Opioids are the most commonly used medication for pain management across the United States. Even though they are commonplace, they contain some shockingly harmful facts:

  • Opioids are a highly addictive substance and are the most commonly abused prescription medication.
  • Opioids are a highly dangerous class of substances. Heroin is among the opioid category, as well as prescription pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and more.
  • More than 2 million people in the United States become addicted to pain medication every year, many of the medications being opioids.
  • About a quarter of heroin addicts began their addiction through prescription opioid dependency.

Now that you know these harrowing facts about opioids, decide for yourself if you think physical therapy could be the answer you’ve been searching for to solve your pain!

Contact us today

Our physical therapist will be happy to create a pain management program just for you. You can avoid the threat of addiction and dependence on prescription medication with the help of a licensed physical therapist. We’re here to help you feel your best, in a safe and healthy way. Contact North Park Medical today for a consultation!

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