It is no secret that there has been an opioid epidemic going on for the past few years now. In fact, just in the year 2016, 116 people died each day from opioid overdose. It is estimated that about 11.5 million people living in America have misused prescription painkilling drugs.
This epidemic also has a monetary impact, as this influx in prescription drugs has estimated $504 million in economic costs. Several people are also being denied jobs due to inability to pass opioid-free drug tests.
While this is all scary information, opioid use is not the only option for pain relief. Physical therapy is a safe, natural, and effective method of pain management that can provide you with the same relief that opioids can. With physical therapy, you also benefit from long-term effects, as the problem is being treated, rather than simply masked. To learn more about how physical therapy can help you rid yourself of harmful opioids, contact US Rehabilitation and Health Services today!
Why are opioids so dangerous?
It may be difficult to understand why opioids are so dangerous for so many people – to understand, you have to know that the processing of pain goes deeper than what you feel physically. Much of the pain you feel is processed by your brain.
For example, every time you stub your toe on a coffee table, pain receptors are sent to your brain. You feel the physical pain, and as a response, your brain releases chemicals to try and ease it. These chemicals act as natural opioids by slowing your breathing, blocking the pain signals, and bringing you back to a state of well-being.
However, if you are suffering from chronic pain, surgical recovery, or a severe injury/trauma, your brain cannot produce enough opioids to keep up with the demand for pain relief. Because of this, pain-killing medications are often prescribed. Prescription medication mimics the chemicals your body naturally produces, acting to relieve pain – but it does not help your body heal. Since your condition will remain the same without an alternative form of treatment, people often feel as if they need to take higher doses as their bodies become used to the drug. This is the main reason why overdoses occur.
How will physical therapy benefit me?
With physical therapy, you will not only find ways to relieve your pain, but also ways to improve your overall function. Physical therapists work hard to get to the root of your problem, in order to correct it. Unlike opioids, physical therapy helps to enhance the healing of your body – providing long-term relief, as opposed to short-term.
Your physical therapist will employ a series of treatments for your condition, which may include ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, stretches, or ultrasound. Your treatment plan will also address strength, flexibility, and overall mobility, in order to get you back to your normal physical function.
Over 116 million people struggle with chronic pain, which greatly hinders their abilities to stand, walk, run, work, and move as they wish. Your physical therapist will address all of these functions and will work with you to get you back where you want to be. One of the main goals of physical therapy is to improve overall quality of life, which your physical therapist will be dedicated to helping you achieve.
Getting started with PT treatments:
While opioids work to mask the pain, they do not treat the cause of it. Physical therapists are movement experts, trained to help you move your body in ways that will decrease pain and increase function. The advanced procedures we employ help our trained physical therapists determine the source of your pain and treat it accordingly.
Physical therapy has a multitude of benefits for both physical and mental health. Chronic pain has been linked to anxiety, depression, and overall feelings of isolation. Physical therapy can help combat these feelings by helping you get up and move, releasing the feel-good chemicals called endorphins throughout your body. Physical therapy also comes with a support system, as your physical therapist will be there with you for every step along your journey toward relief and recovery. This sense of community can help address the mental toll pain takes on a person, in a way that opioids cannot.
If you are looking for a way to manage your pain without the use of harmful drugs, physical therapy is for you. While medication seems like the simplest solution, the risks greatly outweigh the benefits. Rid yourself of harmful opioids today by opting for a safe, natural, and risk-free option instead. Contact us today to get started!