Another day, another drugstore visit. Month after month and year after year, many chronic pain sufferers find themselves on this treadmill.
Prescription pain relievers can only do so much to alleviate your discomfort, and in the case of opioids, you may find yourself buying larger quantities more regularly just to keep up with your growing tolerance to these potent narcotics. If you’re sick of losing your patience, your health, and your money, talk to your doctor about moving to physical therapy as your primary pain treatment plan.
Call Synergy Physical Therapy to schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists to learn more about the benefits of therapy over opioids. We’re here to support you every step of the way!
The dangers of dependency
There is no denying that pain medication is a lucrative business. Aside from the massive amounts of money spent on over-the-counter pain medicines, the global market for opioid drugs is estimated to be worth $25.4 billion, and it’s expected to keep expanding.
Opioids block pain signals from reaching the brain, making them effective against even the most severe pain.This can be super tempting to people who are living with chronic conditions, as living with constant discomfort is difficult and extremely taxing on a person’s mental health.
Unfortunately, the cost of regular opioid use far outweighs the cost of the medications. The more opioids you take, the more likely your body becomes tolerant to them. As a result, to maintain the same level of pain relief, you’ll need to take more frequent and/or stronger doses. This is a quick and sometimes fatal route to addiction.
By the way, don’t assume you’re getting a fantastic bargain from non-addictive pain medicines. Milder painkillers like ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen won’t get you “hooked,” but their effects are short-lived, forcing you to redose every few hours. With frequent or excessive use, these medications can cause health concerns ranging from stomach bleeding to liver failure.
Have no fear, physical therapy is here!
Ask your doctor if physical therapy could help you wean yourself off opioids or other prescriptions instead of emptying your wallet on regular pill refills that don’t even address the source of your misery. (Reducing excessive opioid use safely may necessitate medical monitoring.)
An expert physical therapist can assess the source of your pain and create a customized pain treatment plan for you.
Here are a few examples of how physical therapy can help you avoid taking all those pills:
- If you suffer from crippling arthritis pain, physical therapy exercises and massage therapy can help you control joint pain and stiffness.
- Severe neck or back pain can be managed through a combination of strength training, stretching exercises, and chiropractic adjustment.
- Chronic headache/migraine pain can be reduced through a combination of massage, cervical spinal adjustment, and lifestyle or dietary changes to help you avoid known headache or migraine triggers.
- Chronic muscle spasms respond well to cold laser therapy, massage therapy, and heat/cold therapy.
- Chronic nerve pain can be controlled with a technique called transcutaneous electrical muscle stimulation (TENS), which uses electrical impulses to intercept pain messages. Cold laser therapy can ease neuropathy symptoms and promote nerve healing.
These are just a few of the many techniques that skilled physical therapists can employ to help people overcome pain and return to a healthy, productive lifestyle. Consider beginning physical therapy now if you’ve been looking for a strategy to relieve chronic pain without resorting to prescription medicines or invasive operations.
Ditch the drugs and call a physical therapist
If you’re going to invest time, effort and money into feeling better, do it in a way that actually helps your body for safer long-term solutions. Talk to your doctor! If your doctor agrees that physical therapy can help you ditch the drugs, contact our physical therapist to schedule an initial appointment and work out a pain management program.