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Manage Your Pain with Physical Therapy – Learn to Stop Relying on Opioids

How to Manage Your Pain with Physical Therapy – Learn to Stop Relying on Opioids


In many cases, physical therapy has proved effective for pain management. Physical therapy involves the treatment and management of injuries and other muscle/joint problems. Physical therapy treatment helps with pain management, treatment, and rehabilitation of movement.

Nowadays, physicians are encouraged to prescribe more conventional treatment practices to their patients who are dependent on painkillers. Drug monitoring programs are initiated by states for the safe prescription of drugs.

Manage Your Pain with Physical Therapy – Learn to Stop Relying on Opioids

DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) is managing educational events for people to educate them about the safe disposal of unused drugs to avoid misuse. Also, doctors and researchers are looking into safe alternatives of opioids for pain management like a vaccine, physical therapy, etc.

A physical therapist is a trained and certified professional and specializes in rehabilitation, management, and treatment of orthopedic, pediatrics, neurology, sports injuries, cardiovascular, and other medical areas.

Here are the ways which physical therapists use for pain management.

Hands-on treatment:

Physical therapists use a manual approach for the elimination or reduction of pain in many cases. This method is found effective in pain management and movement recovery from lower back pain to Piriformis syndrome.
Hands-on treatment

Physical therapists use various treatment techniques in hand-on treatment like joint manipulation, dry needling, soft tissue mobilization, massage therapy, and other manual treatment techniques for pain treatment.


Physical therapists may prescribe exercise for the treatment of various conditions.

Physical therapy Exercise
After a complete examination of the patient, they design a personalized exercise treatment plan for their patients according to their needs and goals. Researches proved that there are fewer chances of injury and pain in people who exercise on a regular basis.

Pain management training:

Physical therapists ensure to communicate well with you to understand the nature and history of your pain. It helps them to set the best treatment plan and realistic expectations for your recovery. They educate their patients on how they can improve their life quality and manage their pain with simple home-based daily exercises.


The main key element in physical therapy treatment is, communication. Positive communication with your doctor about your condition and active participation in treatment can increase the chances of treatment success. If you communicate well with your physical therapist, it will help him to understand, how effective treatment is working for your pain relief.

How did Opioids work for Pain Management?

Opioids are a class of drugs that work as strong pain relievers. Usually, opioids are prescribed for the medication of severe chronic pain. Opioids work even in many other cases where other painkillers do not affect them. Common opioids are Morphine, Oxycodone, Codeine, and Hydrocodone, which is prescribed for chronic pain treatment.
Opioids work for Pain Management

Usually, doctors prescribe opioids for cancer, neurological, musculoskeletal, and severe injury patients for pain management. But the use of opioids produces euphoria, which is a highly abusive and addictive substance both legally and illegally (heroin).

Opioids work on the brain, spinal, and other receptors of the body and stop them from getting pain signals from the body. Subsequently, it releases a large amount of Dopamine, which gives a feeling of pleasure and relaxation.

The Harms of Opioid Addiction:

The use of opioids brings more harm than benefits. The reason is that it seems so effective in fast relief of pain because of the release of the high amount of euphoria. But unfortunately, patients who use it become addicted to it because of high levels of euphoria in their bodies.
The Harms of Opioid Addiction

As a result of long-term use of opioids, the body builds resistance against it, and then the patient will need a large number of opioids for the same pain relief effects. Ultimately, this leads to a very high dosage level and strong drug addiction.

About two-thirds of the overdose death cases were found related to high doses of opioids. Unfortunately, more than 11 million patients are found addicted to opioids. In many cases, increased drug tolerance in patients leads to strong dosage intake and ultimately death due to over-dosage of opioids.

How Can Physical Therapy Help in Opioids Addiction?

Opioid addiction and abuse can be avoided by the use of safe alternatives. A safe alternative to opioids can be physical therapy. An expert and specialized physical therapist can prescribe you a personalized treatment plan that can help you in restoring joint movement, reducing muscle stiffness, treatment and elimination of pain and inflammation, improve muscle strength and treatment of neurological conditions.

You can select physical therapy if:

  • You are experiencing abuse, addiction, depression, or any other physical problem with long-term use of opioids, and you want to get rid of all these issues.
  • You are experiencing any chronic pain or severe injury, and you are prescribed use of opioids for the treatment of pain.
  • You are experiencing spinal, musculoskeletal, and neurological conditions.
  • You want to treat the completely ultimate cause of the pain instead of just simply covering it with painkillers.

Physical therapy cannot eliminate your pain, but a physical treatment plan can help you enough that you don’t need to take a higher dosage of painkillers for pain management. However, if you are using opioids for your pain treatment, you must ask your physician to supervise any changes in your drug dosage.

Final Verdict:

If you are using opioids like morphine, oxycodone, etc., for pain treatment for a long time and want to know how you can free yourself from these drugs, then you can switch to physical therapy treatment. Long-term use of drugs can affect your health and can make you addicted to them.

But, luckily, a safe alternative to opioids is available as physical therapy. You can eliminate or reduce the symptoms and causes of your pain with the help of a customized treatment plan prescribed by your therapist and can get rid of opioid addiction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is selecting a physical therapy an effective solution?
Selecting physical therapy can be one of the safest solutions when you are experiencing chronic pain (long-term pain) or any severe injury. It can help you to reduce symptoms and improve your strength. You can ask your physician to recommend a good physical therapist.

Can we treat nerve pain with physical therapy?
Painkillers can help you to eliminate pain temporarily, but it is important to treat the ultimate cause of pain. Physical therapy can help to treat the compressed nerves to eliminate pain and prevent any future injury. It can be a safe solution for treating your nerve pain.

Why do patients experience pain after physical therapy sessions?
Normally, you can feel more pain in their body after treatment sessions. But it doesn’t mean that pain is getting worse. It means that it is working on the strength of the affected body part. You can experience more pain after movement treatment like mobilization, stretching, or after exercise, but it is due to the soreness after treatment.

How is physical therapy better than Opioids?
Physical therapists use different hands-on, movement, and exercise techniques for pain treatment. They help patients to improve their life quality with improved muscle movement, strength, and flexibility. On the other hand, opioids give instant relief from pain by acting on brain receptors and prevent them from receiving pain signals. Long-term use of opioids can develop drug dependency in patients.

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