When to Choose Physical Therapy? Expert Guide to Physical Therapy vs. Opioids
Visiting a physical therapist can help you treat and manage pain if you experience any injury or feel any acute pain. Physical therapists are medical professionals who help people improve their life quality through hands-on care and prescribing proper exercise routines.
The opioid is a drug category that acts on brain receptors, spinal columns, and other receptors of the body. They give signals of not being in pain to the brain, which helps with pain relief.
Opioids are strong pain relievers. The doctors use these opioids in medium to acute pain management that can’t be treated with other pain relief medications. But still, many people prefer physical therapy to opioids.
Why Should Patients Choose Physical Therapy Instead of Opioid Medication?
- A physical therapist helps you to manage pain with exercises and proper movements, while opioids only signal relief from pain sensation.
- Opioids may cause severe side effects like overdose, drug addiction, depression, anxiety, or drug dependency, while physical therapy is a safe way for pain management without side effects.
- Physical therapy is proven as an efficient alternative for many muscular surgeries like knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff injury, torn meniscus, etc.
- Physical therapy has been found effective in many muscle pain conditions like lower back pain, neck muscle pain, arthritis, and osteoporosis, while opioids are found less effective in treating these conditions in many cases.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggested non-opioid techniques for chronic and acute pain management in their 2015 guideline. They encourage using opioids only in that case when it is the only way to anticipate the patient’s condition.
Explore Major Benefits of Advanced Physical Therapy for Pain
1. Get Better Safely Without Causing Injury:
Pain can restrict you to actively participate in daily activities with fear of more pain and damage. Your physical therapist will plan a customized treatment after your thorough examination according to your needs and goals to:
- Manage and treat pain.
- Treat injury and prevents you from future injury.
- Improve muscle function, movement, and life quality without any side effects.
Your physical therapist can also coordinate with your other health care members to ensure to develop the best suitable treatment plan for you according to your needs.
2. Stay Physically Active to Avoid Potential Risk of Surgery:
When our body gets any injury or pain, it activates its self-protection mode. As a result, many people avoid any movement and activity when they are in pain. But it may slow the recovery process and can lead patients to some new problems.
For a fast recovery process from injury, it is important to keep your body active. According to your condition, a properly designed active lifestyle can help you reduce and manage pain and eliminate its symptoms. A physical therapist can help you to:
- Find causes of pain.
- Determine the estimated time for injury recovery.
- Suggest a suitable exercise plan according to your pain condition, needs, and goals.
If needed, a physical therapy program can help you avoid any further delay in surgery and prepare you for surgery. CDC also prescribes physical therapy as an effective alternative to opioids to treat many non-cancer pain conditions. A physical therapist suggests safe ways for pain management and prescribes the best medication according to your condition.
3. Recover as Soon as Possible:
People who get medical assistance within two weeks of injury or start of pain need less care than those who don’t seek care. Your physical therapist finds out your pain symptoms and designs the best treatment strategy for your pain treatment and recovery as soon as possible.
4. Avoid growing Other Problems:
Usually, when we get any pain in our body, we develop some other way to avoid it. Unfortunately, as a result, it leads to some more muscle problems and issues that can take more time to recover. Muscle problems that you may develop are:
- Muscle stiffness
- Increased pain and its sensitivity
- Loss of muscle strength and flexibility
Contact a physical therapist at the start of pain can prevent you from developing chronic pain.
5. Achieve Your Goals:
Being active is important for your health and life quality. It can be hard to move for some people with pain. You can get help from a physical therapist to determine your goals and needs and can work on them by developing a suitable development plan to achieve them. This will help you to get active and continue sports as early as possible.
When to Prefer Physical Therapists for Pain Relief?
A physical therapist is a medical professional who is an expert in the non-surgical treatment of injuries, pain, and muscle/joint problems.
Physical therapist, says that:
“The main difference between success and failure is a right physical therapist. They should communicate effectively with their physical therapist and follow their instructions regularly, as well as for instructions of their general physician.”
She also says that it is very important to select a physical therapist with whom you can communicate. The communication is the main key for the development of an effective treatment plan.
People may get recommendations and suggestions from their family, friends, or doctor about a physical therapist with whom they have a good experience. Many physical therapists can have additional expertise in special areas of practice. Some may be experts in sports injuries, and others can be in joint or muscle problem treatment. They may have special expertise in special areas, ranging from geriatric pediatric physical therapy.
Your physical therapist also plans an exercise plan and hand-on instruction to do at home on their own. This treatment plan includes the instructions for the right movements to ensure that you’re performing them in the right way.
Physical therapy treatment can be equally useful for individuals for any age group who have an injury, pain or any illness that restrict them to do their daily movements and activity.
A personalized physical therapy treatment plan can help you to get back your muscle strength, flexibility and improve daily activities. It also prepares you to prevent any further injury by educating you about the right lifestyle. General physicians often recommend you to a physical therapist for onset pain management and treatment. Although, physical therapy is considered a conventional way of treatment.
What to consider while selecting a physical therapist
- Take recommendations from your doctor, friends, or family
- Find a physical therapist near you
- Contact their clinic to ask for what services they offer
- Ask about the expertise and certification of a physical therapist
- Ask they will submit your insurance claim on your behalf or not!
What can we treat with physical therapy?
Physical therapists help people with pain management and treatment. Some injuries and movement problems, if not treated on time, can become chronic and lead you to surgery. Symptoms of long-term pain can be treated or eliminated with physical therapy. It also prevents injuries from getting more severe.
Is physical therapy a good investment?
Physical therapy can be worth your money. Recent research organized by the US Doctor of physical therapy reveals that the net worth of physical therapy was greater than other medical fields like veterinary, optometry, general physicians, and others.
Why do we experience pain during physical therapy treatment?
If you feel aching or soreness in your muscles after physical therapy, it means that your muscles and body are improving in a good way. It is some resistance which your muscles experience when you do some strength training.