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Physical Therapy -- More Helpful for Chronic Pain Than Medication?

Posted by Brian Spence on Mar 3, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Physical Therapy, Pain Management, Allied HealthWhen people are in pain, they often turn to medications to relieve their suffering. People suffering from chronic pain may have their doctor prescribe them stronger pain medication, often an opiate. While opiates will help to relieve the pain, they are often not the best option.

According to information from the American Society of Addiction Medication:

  • There were 2 million people 12 years old and older who had a prescription pain reliever substance abuse problem in 2015.

  • There were 20,101 overdose deaths in 2015 related to prescription pain relievers.

  • 259 million opioid prescriptions were written in 2012. That is enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills with some prescriptions left over.

  • Women, who are more likely to suffer from chronic pain and who are more likely to use the pain medication for a longer period, may also be more likely to develop a dependence upon the medication faster.

With this high number of opioid users for chronic pain, it might seem on the surface that medication has been proven to be the most efficient way to treat chronic pain. That is not true. Other methods, such as physical therapy, have been shown to be more effective at treating chronic pain. Here are a few reasons physical therapy is a great way to treat chronic pain:

  • Movement, such as that provided through physical therapy, acts as a medicine for both the mind and the body.

  • Physical therapists are trained in identifying and evaluating the cause of the pain.

  • The physical therapist can then create an individualized patient treatment plan without the worry of the patient becoming addicted to pain medication.

  • Physical therapy is a healthier alternative to using prescription medication to relieve the pain.

If you are interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.


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