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Lucas Therapies Blog

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Don’t Let Back Pain Derail Your Commitment to Exercise in the New Year

Roanoke, 2016 – Within weeks of belting out the final stanza of “Auld Lang Syne,” a large segment of those resolving to exercise more in the New Year will be on the sidelines. The cause? A variety of injuries and conditions ranging from stress fractures and twisted ankles to the biggest culprit of all, low back pain.

 A Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors study recently cited low back pain as the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Estimates indicate that 80% of us contend with the common ailment at some point in our lives. The intense and debilitating pain that accompanies low back injuries often prevents sufferers from going to work, participating in household chores and enjoying time with loved ones.

 Low back pain doesn’t have to be a prescription for couch surfing. Current studies show no evidence that supervised physical activity increases the risk of additional back problems or work disability. Counter to the age-old recommendation of inactivity, a customized exercise program under the direction of a physical therapist is widely prescribed to reduce pain and disability.

At Lucas Therapies, we have physical therapists’ and personal trainers that are highly skilled at using exercise to reduce back pain.

 Although back pain can affect anyone, the major risk factors include age, poor physical fitness, genetics, being overweight, and smoking. The National Institutes of Health suggests the following to prevent back pain: 

  • Exercise frequently and keep your back muscles strong.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Eat a balanced diet, including daily recommendations for calcium and vitamin D.
  • Focus on body mechanics by standing up straight and lifting heavy objects with bent legs and a straight back.

Per the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, low back pain sufferers should prioritize a supervised exercise program and a gradual return to everyday activities to restore back strength. Following an evaluation, physical therapists can recommend specific exercises to prevent and treat back pain, and provide additional treatment options to address pain and restore mobility.

Come see Lucas Therapies and let us help you get back…to your life!

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#ChoosePT over Opioids

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Private Practice Physical Therapists Urge Consumers to #ChoosePT Over Opioids for Long-Term Pain Management 

Roanoke, 2016 – Prescription opioid headlines are staggering: 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids; they cost the United States economy $78.5 billion a year; and 227 million opioid prescriptions were handed out in the U.S. in 2015. 

In response to the millions of Americans living with chronic pain and seeking relief, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) rolled out its #ChoosePT Campaign with a clear message: opioids only mask pain, physical therapists treat pain through movement and exercise. In concert with the APTA, members of the organization’s Private Practice Section are stepping up efforts to educate the public about physical therapy as a safe, nondrug alternative to opioids for pain management.

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in the opioid epidemic, with studies showing more than half of pain sufferers turning to pills and other unproven methods for relief. Opioids are often prescribed to treat back pain, neck pain, and degenerative joint disease, but are not the only option patients have. Use of prescription opioids to mask pain is a risky, short-term solution that leads to powerful addiction and will never provide sufferers with long-term relief. Recommended as a safe alternative to opioids for pain management by both the CDC and the Surgeon General, physical therapy can help patients work through their condition and get better.

Private practitioners have unique access to the right resources to help patients choose physical therapy to manage pain without the risks and side effects of opioids. These physical therapists rely on outcomes based evidence to treat pain and help patients increase strength, flexibility, and improve mobility. Their main focus is to fix the dysfunction permanently and give patients the tools to independently address dysfunction throughout their lifetime.

Physical therapists use a multidisciplinary approach to develop an individualized plan of care that helps those in pain break out of an ineffective pain medication cycle. Private practice PTs are prepared to provide high-quality care in a cost-effective manner, and urge the public to consider their services to manage pain without the risks of opioids. 

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