Physical Therapy: The Most Natural Pain Reliever There Is!
Have you recently sustained an injury of some sort that has left you in debilitating pain? If you’re taking pain relievers to relieve your symptoms 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). t.
What’s the big deal about opioids?
No matter what your reason is for taking opioids, you’ve probably started to worry about the effect they’re having on your health. America is currently in the midst of what the new has coined an "Opioid Epidemic" The Centers for Disease Control offers some frightening statistics from opioid overuse in 2011:
- Sales of prescription painkillers to pharmacies and providers had increased 300% since 1999
- In 2010, 12 million people ages 12 and older reported using prescription painkillers “non-medically”
- More than 40 people were dying each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids”
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.
Both opioid prescription rates and deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled in the last twenty years. Given these stark statistics, an obvious conclusion can be made: Opioid dependence has gotten out of hand, and the consequences can be literally fatal.
That’s why physical therapy is such a good alternative. It allows you to bypass the risk of developing a chronic dependency. Physical therapy is designed to relieve the pain without drugs.
Physical therapy can help you kick pain medication
You’re probably tired of having 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. The good news is that physical therapy can get rid of the need to do any of these.
Physical therapists are now equipped to help you in two different ways: by restoring your function and relieving your pain. Your physical therapist can restore your function by strengthening the weakened muscles, ligaments, tendons, and body tissues through passive and active treatment methods. This allows your body to heal and gives you the strong support system you need to enjoy full function in the future.
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 the situations that tend to lead to problems.
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.
What to expect at your first appointment
During your first appointment, be prepared to talk about your medical history with your therapist. You will be asked to describe your symptoms and how they impact your daily life. For example, does your arthritis prevent you from taking your dog on long walks? Are you no longer able to play weekend basketball with your friends?
Your therapist will likely have you do a few simple tests which will vary based on which joints are suffering from arthritis. In general, expect to be tested on your range of motion in the impacted joints, as well as your strength and balance. These tests will be used to determine where your pain levels are, what’s causing them, and to assist the physical therapist in crafting the best possible plan of treatment for you.
Schedule an appointment with one of our therapists today
Physical therapy can certainly help you to find pain relief, however, therapy isn’t just about getting rid of your pain. It’s about your whole-body function, your mental wellness, and your long-term health. Your physical therapist can help you improve every aspect of your wellness to overcome pain and enjoy a life without the fog of pain pills for the rest of your life. Call us today and lets get you scheduled for a no charge consultation 208-478-1488.