Opioid Usage and Physical Therapy

By: | Tags: , , | Comments: 0 | April 30th, 2017

The sale of prescription opioids like Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana, Methodone and Percocet are rapidly increasing as a way to manage pain. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they have quadrupled in the United States. The opioid usage is now become an epidemic and as of March 2016, the CDC released opioid prescription guidelines. Opioid usage is recommended for certain cases including cancer treatment, end of life care, palliative are and some acute care situations but only if properly dosed.

There are risks associated with inappropriately dosage of opioids which include depression, addiction, overdose and symptoms of withdrawal when opioids are stopped being used. It is said that you can become 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin if you are already addicted to prescription opioids. Opioids mask the pain but with physical therapy you can treat the pain. Physical therapy is a much safer alternative to manage pain and comes without the many risks and side effects of opioids.

A few guidelines on when to you should consider Oklahoma Physical Therapy.

1.       Treat Pain

Opioids reduce the sensation of pain by interrupting pain signals to the brain creating a temporary solution to your pain. If you are looking to actually treat the pain and not mask the pain then you should come in to visit one of our trained physical therapists at Oklahoma Physical Therapy. Our therapists will assess your pain and create a customized program to improve and/or maintain your mobility get you back to the quality of life you want.

2.       Low back pain, fibromyalgia, hip or knee osteoarthritis pain or function problems

If you suffer with lower back pain, hip or knee osteoarthritis pain or fibromyalgia, it is recommended that your physical treatment plan include exercise. At Oklahoma Physical Therapy we will partner with you to create a customized plan that will include exercises at your visit as well as home exercises.

3.       Opioid Risk Is Too High

There are several potential side effects with opioid use. Many people become depressed, they do not use the appropriate dosage and overdose or they can become addicted. It has also been noted that many patients go through withdrawal symptoms similar to a detox when the individual stops using opioids. The CDC experts have agreed “that opioids should not be considered firstline or routine therapy for chronic pain”. At Oklahoma Physical Therapy we will create a routine therapy plan to alleviate your chronic pain without all of the risks associated with opioid usage.

4.       If taking prescribed opioids for pain

Prescription opioids should be dosed at the lowest effective dosage and you should be combined with a nonopioid solution such as physical therapy. At Oklahoma Physical Therapy we will partner with you and your doctor to create a therapy program that will allow you to recover without the risks of improper opioid usage.


The therapists at Oklahoma Physical Therapy can play a vital role in your recovery and pain management solution. Don’t mask the pain, treat it and check us out at www.oklahomaphysicaltherapy.com.

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