As opioid abuse epidemic rages, physical therapy offers crucial alternative
Can also reduce associated healthcare costs
RED BANK, NJ (Feb. 4, 2020) – Opioid painkiller abuse has been at epidemic levels for nearly a decade, and even conservative estimates suggest it has resulted in more than 700,000 deaths since 1999. Perhaps the key consideration when addressing this crisis is what to offer patients with chronic or acute pain, in lieu of opioids.
According to many professionals, physical therapy may be one of the most effective options.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) not only recommends physical therapy as an opioid alternative, but specifies certain conditions for which physical therapy can be particularly effective both in limiting pain and improving function. These are lower back pain, hip and knee osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
“When people are experiencing significant pain, all they care about is feeling better,” explains Trinity Rehab’s Vice President, Valerie Dellocono. “If they’re told that opioid painkillers are their only option, then that’s the direction they’ll go in. But there are other options, and physical therapy treatments can be extremely effective in reducing or even eliminating a wide range of conditions that cause pain.”
In addition to reducing pain, physical therapy has the potential to treat its underlying cause or causes so it may eventually be eliminated. This is far beyond the capability of opioids, which are limited exclusively to pain reduction.
Another tremendously significant consideration is that early access to physical therapy has been shown to reduce healthcare costs, including lowering the likelihood of opioid painkillers being prescribed.
Multiple studies indicate that physical therapy is particularly effective when accessed as quickly as possible after treatment begins. In fact, it appears that early physical therapy is associated with reductions in subsequent longer-term opioid use, as well as use of lower-intensity opioids.
“No one should say physical therapy can completely eliminate everyone’s pain – that’s simply not true,” Dellocono says. “What is accurate is that, particularly for patients with chronic or persistent pain, physical therapy can help to reduce discomfort in the short term and dramatically reduce or even eliminate it in the long term.”
About Trinity Rehab
Founded in 2001, Trinity Rehab is an all-inclusive physical therapy and rehabilitation center that treats patients of all ages, walks of life and fitness levels for back and neck pain, orthopedic injuries, post-operative rehab, sports related injuries, auto or work accidents, hand therapy and other common or rare conditions. State-of-the-art technology, including the highly effective, non-invasive EPAT® treatment, video monitoring and AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill®, is complemented by its teamwork approach and tailor fit treatment plans unique to each patient’s needs. Based in Red Bank, NJ, Trinity Rehab has locations in 10 New Jersey counties, all offering flexible appointment scheduling Monday through Friday. Trinity Rehab has a growing list of convenient locations throughout New Jersey. For more information click here or call (800) 518-0977.
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