We’re all aware of the opioid crisis plaguing the nation. It’s scary – it’s as if every time we turn on the news, we hear another story about the epidemic. In 2016 alone, opioid overdose claimed the lives of 116 people each day. Approximately 11.5 million people in the United States misused the painkilling drugs they were prescribed, costing an estimated $504 million in economic costs. According to researchers, it is believed that numerous people are even being denied jobs due to a failure to pass opioid-free drug tests.
As frightening as this sounds, for some people the pain relief from opioids may seem like the only option. However, physical therapy has been a proven method for providing long-lasting pain relief – without the risks of harmful drugs. Give Willow Physical Therapy a call today to find out how you can rid yourself of opioids and start on a natural, easy, and beneficial pain-relief plan!
The risk of opioids:
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.
The benefits of physical therapy:
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.
Our 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. Our 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 the overall quality of life, which our physical therapist will be dedicated to helping you achieve.
Saying yes to physical therapy:
Opioids mask pain without treating the underlying cause of it. Physical therapy not only helps with relieving pain but also addresses the condition that is causing the pain in the first place. A physical therapist is a medical professional, trained in the science of movement. Through advanced diagnostic procedures, our physical therapist can uncover the source of your pain and find ways to address it for long-term health and mobility.
The effects of physical therapy also don’t stop with the body – it helps to improve your mental health, as well. Chronic pain and prescription pain medication use can lead to depression, anxiety, and isolation. Physical therapy will help get your body moving and working normally again, releasing feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Working with a physical therapist will also give you a partner in your pain relief journey. This sense of community can help address the mental toll pain takes on a person, in a way that opioids cannot.
Physical therapy is a drug-free way to manage your pain while improving your health. Pain medication may seem like a simple solution, but the risks far outweigh the benefits. Don’t let yourself be a part of the opioid epidemic. If you are ready to say NO to opioids and YES to physical therapy, call our Fairbanks, AK office to schedule a consultation with a physical therapist today! They would be more than happy to discuss how they can help you achieve a full, pain-free, and functional life.