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Physical Therapy vs. Pain Medication

Updated: Oct 9, 2023


The topic of pain management has been a HOT topic across the country for quite some time and continues today as the end results of opioid addiction, deaths and complications continue to rise. The fact is that opioid prescription sales are still rising, regardless of the fact that “there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.”

This ongoing opioid crisis is a direct result of our nations health care system and the AGE OLD approach of utilizing pharmacological agents to mask ones pain vs. identifying and treating the actual pain source(s) itself.

Let’s not be confused, as the use of opioids is needed and warranted in certain situations, ie: cancer treatment, end of life care, hospitalizations and certain acute situations just to name a few but not for regular long term use. Please note, there are always exceptions to these guidelines but it’s important to remember there ARE additional options available, above and beyond the use of pain medications.

The treatment of pain is COMPLEX and should be integrative in its approach, as with many things in life. The collaboration, expertise and insight from many is always better than one. There is much to gain from a team centered approach, especially as it relates to health care and the management of pain. It’s time for patients to become empowered, do a little research, ask questions and always remember there are alternative choices….especially as it relates to pain management!

It’s time to pause and think about what’s important to you and your health! What are you goals, what is the outcome you are hoping for; less pain, more mobility, improved quality of life, etc. Remember you are in the driver seat of your life and when it comes to your health, its NOT about a quick-fix solution.

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of non-opioid approaches to pain management like physical therapy? There is also documented evidence describing the effectiveness of physical therapy in treating pain, often reducing and/or eliminating the use of opioids.

So the question now is…..when should you choose physical therapy over opioids?

1. You as the patient want MORE than just masking the pain. Pain medications simply interrupt the pain signals from getting to the brain but do NOT treat the actual cause.

2. Your pain has lasted more than 3+ months, this is now considered chronic pain.

3. You would like a multi-disciplinary approach to your care. Physical therapists calibrate with health care professionals to enhance the health & overall well being of their patients.

4. You want answers as to origin of your pain. Physical therapists utilize measurements, tools and tests to determine the origin of the pain and any risk factors that may be present.

5. You are concerned about the use of pain medication, its side effects and the risk of addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Physical therapy is here for you. It’s time to take CHARGE of your life! Mobility and movement is our speciality, contact us today to learn more about pain management and the options available to you!

Physical Therapy vs. Pain Medication

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