PT's Role In the Opioid Epidemic
As time passes we are all really starting to see the full effects of the opioid epidemic that has been in news headlines for too long now. What is going to come of this and what is the best answer to this scary problem is being debated daily, however I believe we are all on the same page in that we want this epidemic to end sooner than later.
Here are a few ways us as therapists are doing our part to help curb this crisis:
1. Treating pain with proper exercise, stretching, and modalities vs only pain medication. That being said there can be a proper balance of physical therapy and medications that may be required especially with acute surgeries, however studies show that PT will help to reduce medication needed and the length of time that the medication was taken. Modalities including ultrasound, electrical stimulation in combination with manual techniques are a good start to helping someone find pain relief without the side effects of opioids.
2. Promoting an active lifestyle. The staff here at Potential Therapy try to all lead an active lifestyle so that we are able to promote the same while also receiving the health benefits our self! Exercise releases endorphins which is essentially your body's own built in pharmacy. Why not tap into that??
3. Finding the root cause of the pain. As therapists our goal is to find the underlying cause of why someone is experiencing pain and address this along with providing pain control. Maybe a person has shoulder/arm pain due to a neck issue. What if a hip/knee pain is really coming from the back? Treating the cause and not just the symptom shows much better results vs. just putting a band-aid over the pain with a pill.
4. #ChoosePT. Check out the American Physical Therapy Association's own push to help promote awareness and provide information and resources for anyone. You can visit www.choosept.com for a plethora of information regarding safe pain management.
Bottom line here is that the more we realize how big this problem is the more we are wanting to do our part to be able to help our communities as much as possible. If we can help you or anyone you know please contact us. We would love to be of any assistance possible and help everyone reach their FULLEST POTENTIAL!