Relieve Your Pain Naturally with the Help of Physical Therapy
You’ve got so many things you want or need to do today – but they’re going to have to wait until you get your pills. Prescription opioid usage of powerful drugs can cause pain to subside for hours at a time.
Unfortunately, they can also cause serious new problems in your life, from the risk of overdose to the stifling grip of addiction. If you’ve been depending on opioids just to make everyday life tolerable, it’s time to find a safer, healthier, less frightening alternative.
Thankfully, physical therapy can help you govern your pain without drugs, giving you a chance to break away from your reliance on opioids. Feel free to contact our highly trained physical therapist at Evolving Gait Physical Therapy.
How can physical therapy help me find relief?
Physical therapy can help you deal with your pain so you don’t need opioids anymore. Of course, only high doses of opioids should be discontinued under professional medical supervision (to prevent a potentially dangerous withdrawal).
In the meantime, however, our physical therapist can work with you to address the biomechanical problems that caused your pain in the first place.
Here are just a few of the physical therapy modalities that can help you conquer your pain:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) uses electrical energy to block pain signals to nerves.
- Laser therapy can ease pain caused by injuries, arthritis, muscular strain, tendinitis or neuropathy.
- Massage therapy can control painful muscle spasms, help the tissues expel inflammatory substances, and direct more blood and oxygen to an injury.
- Exercises can increase your pain-free range of motion, strengthen the muscles that support your body, and increase blood flow to reduce inflammation.
Physical therapy may not help you to feel that immediate relief in the same way pain medication would, but it will help you to feel gradual improvements in your experience of the pain so that you can eventually start to live your life free of discomfort.
A physical therapist can also help you discover relief through:
- Targeted massage: Your physical therapist can identify the area that may be causing the pain and utilize massage techniques to reduce tension in that particular area, thereby helping to alleviate pressure in your joints and reduce pain.
- Hot and cold therapy: The combination of hot and cold therapy can help to reduce swelling and alleviate pain, and when used in combination with other natural strategies can be a great source of relief from chronic pain.
- Deep stretching: Your physical therapist can guide you through specialized stretching techniques that will target the source of your pain, thereby helping to improve your range of motion and support the development of muscle mass in the area of your pain.
- Weight lifting: As you begin to experience tension relief and decreased swelling in the targeted area, your physical therapist can then guide you through the process of building muscle mass to support a full and healthy recovery.
The dangerous reality of the opioid epidemic
Many people who become addicted to opioids were first prescribed by a medical doctor to treat acute or chronic pain. The problem is, opioid medications:
- Can be highly addictive
- Only hide symptoms of pain—they don’t address the underlying causes, which makes opioids less cost-effective over time
- Are associated with an increased risk of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and depression
The opioid epidemic is a very real (and very deadly) problem. It’s believed that some 2 million Americans suffer from an opioid use disorder such as addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 130 people die from opioid overdoses every day here in the U.S. Since 1999, the number of opioid-related deaths has multiplied sixfold.
So, why are opioids so dangerous? These drugs prevent pain by attaching themselves to the brain’s opioid receptors. They can also cause both drowsiness and an intense high at high doses. This can cause a psychological dependence on the drug – but the trouble doesn’t stop there.
The brain and body become accustomed to a given dose of the opioid, creating a drug tolerance. As a result, you end up in need of larger and larger doses, not just to achieve the same degree of pain relief, but also to prevent agonizing withdrawal symptoms. Eventually, the dose you need could be a fatal one.
Even if you are not addicted to opioids, your chronic pain may force you to continue taking opioids on a regular basis. Unfortunately, opioid drugs block pain messages temporarily, but they do absolutely nothing to address the underlying health challenges that are causing your pain.
Find natural pain relief treatments today!
Physical therapy is a clear and positive alternative to the dangers of regular opioid use and abuse.
If you’re ready to curb that daily opioid habit, start by asking our physical therapist for a safe, effective pain management plan!