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.