Pain Medication vs. Physical Therapy
November 30, 2016
Whether it’s muscle, joint, or bone, chronic pain from illness and injury is one of the most common medical symptoms suffered by adults in the United States. It’s also one of the most medicated symptoms, with the number of prescriptions written for pain reaching unprecedented, sometimes dangerous levels.
While certain illnesses and injuries do call for medication intervention for pain relief, there are many other, potentially safer and more effective options that can also help you alleviate pain, including physical therapy, which, according to a report released this past March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should consider first.
In its statement, the CDC makes clear that nonpharmacologic and nonopioid therapy, such as PT, are preferred methods for pain management over chemical opioid pain relievers. These therapies, which also include weight management and cognitive behavioral therapy, are considered by the CDC to be safe, effective, alternative ways to treat and manage chronic pain, without the dangerous side effects associated with opioids – including dependency and the potential for overdose.
How to make physical therapy work for your pain management program:
- Keep in mind that physical therapy is not a magic bullet that provides instant results; it will, however, provide you with exercises, techniques, and most importantly support, in your pain management journey to healing, as well as total body benefits for the long haul.
- Unlike pain medication, understand that physical therapy works to treat and manage the underlying cause of your pain, as well as the symptoms. This can take time and dedication on your part, but will provide you with long-lasting benefits and healing.
- Create an open dialogue with your physical therapist, and consider them a part of your health management team. Talk to them about the goals you have for treatment, even your fears and hesitations. Your physical therapist is there to work alongside you and support you, even when things get difficult. Being open about your thoughts and feelings during physical therapy can help improve your level of care.
- Follow your physical therapy treatment program according to your PT’s instructions. The more compliant you are with your PT program, the more quickly you’ll see results.
- Tend to your pain outside of therapy – this means working to keep your stress levels low, getting plenty of rest, and eating a nutrient-rich diet of healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, and whole grains, while avoiding inflammation-causing sugars, trans and saturated fats, and processed foods.
Call our offices today to learn more about how Sovereign Rehabilitation can become part of your pain management program. Our dedicated, compassionate team of rehabilitative specialists is here to help you every step of the way in getting back to your best, pain-free life.
Posted on behalf of Sovereign Rehabilitation
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