October is National Physical Therapy Month – a great time to fill your gourd with the many benefits of Physical Therapy!
Physical Therapists work with people of all ages, assisting them to regain mobility, strength, and flexibility, taking pre-existing conditions into account. They also facilitate return to sport and recreational activities through specialized treatment plans by guiding clients through exercise, progressive mobilization, providing education and providing access to community resources, and addressing pain that often accompanies the healing process.
This year, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has launched a national public awareness campaign about the opioid epidemic America is in the midst of, promoting Physical Therapy as a non-drug alternative to using opioid medications for pain relief. Statistics show healthcare providers write 259 million opioid prescriptions in 2012 – enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle of pills. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines urging providers to reduce opioid prescriptions in favor of safe, non-drug alternatives such as Physical Therapy for long-term management and prevention of chronic pain conditions, including back pain, hip and knee osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
There are some situations in which opioid therapy is appropriate. The CDC guidelines indicate that opioids may be appropriate for situations including cancer treatment, palliative care, end-of-life care, and certain acute care situations. Still, the CDC guidelines also suggest pairing opioid therapy with non-opioid therapy, and their prescriber checklist recommends trying non-opioid therapy first.
Physical Therapists treat pain through movement, helping clients improve strength, flexibility and range of motion. We also educate clients about pain which itself has been shown to improve pain management outcomes.
Learn more about the benefits of Physical Therapy as a safe, effective alternative to opioids by visiting MoveForwardPT.com/ChoosePT