Aging bones and bodies bring on a fragility that makes the elderly more susceptible to breaks, fractures, and surgeries. Many are offered opioid drugs as the best solution to deal with the unbearable pain that results.
But more than 130 people die every day from opioid-related drug overdoses, creating an epidemic that is currently a national crisis.
Is risking your health and life the only way to find relief from pain?
Thankfully, it’s not.
Trading habit-forming prescription drugs like opioids for physical therapy may be the best swap you’ll ever make for three reasons:
1. PT is a true treatment for pain.
Opioids make you feel better because they interrupt pain signals to your brain. But they do nothing to actually heal your body and keep you from suffering in the first place.
Physical rehabilitation, on the other hand, uses manual manipulation and targeted exercises to treat aches at their source.
A health study showed those who work with therapists and supplement with regular exercise experience less pain for conditions such as lower back pain, fibromyalgia, and hip or knee osteoarthritis. The same study concluded that it was 28 percent less common for participants who exercised more than three times per week to experience widespread chronic pain.
2. PT offers greater quality of life.
In addition to addiction and depression, opioids cause severe nausea and constipation, slow down your body’s digestion, and increase the risk of bowel illnesses and problems.
You shouldn’t have to reduce your pain, only to put up with a new host of symptoms that might be worse than the pain itself.
Because physical therapy is not a drug, none of the debilitating side effects possible with opioids can occur. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge health care providers to reduce opioid use in favor of safer alternatives like physiotherapy for long-term pain.
3. Fringe benefits come with physical therapy.
As we age, reduced mobility may stop us from doing the things we love. Fortunately, regular PT visits can increase agility and strengthen joints.
Physical therapy can also help you avoid dangerous procedures altogether. Studies show physical therapy may be as effective as surgery for pain relief. People with lower back conditions, for example, have had high rates of success with non-invasive physical therapy.
You have options!
Opioids are not your only choice when it comes to effective pain management. Physical therapy can give you the relief you crave while also increasing the quality of your day-to-day life and strengthening your body so you can do more of what you love to do.
How has physical therapy helped your life? Share below.
(Image via Unsplash)