can be difficult to navigate. If you have experienced an injury or are recovering from surgery, you have options for managing your pain.
In some cases, your doctor might prescribe an opioid to help eliminate pain. While this can be helpful for some people, opioids can cause complications like depression, addiction, or overdose.
Because of this, it is often better to find safer ways of managing pain. One of the best options available to people for pain management is physical therapy
Physical therapy is a great option because, while opioids simply mask the pain, physical therapy can provide real, long-term relief and help your body to recover from an injury safely.
Here are some of the times when you should consider trying physical therapy instead of opioids:
- You have chronic pain – pain is considered chronic if it lasts for more than 90 days. In these cases, the risk of addiction, depression, or overdose of opioids increases due to continued use.
- Your pain is in the lower back, hip, or knee – pain related to injuries or diseases like osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia in these areas of the body have been shown to respond especially well to physical therapy.
- The end goal is to heal an injury: Opioids can mask pain, but they can’t actually fix the root cause. However, physical therapy works to strengthen muscles around an injury and slowly build up strength in the affected area. This can help an injury to heal safely.
A physical therapist can create a plan specifically for you and your injury. This means that your physical therapy sessions will be tailored to your exact needs, providing you with pain relief as quickly as possible.
In most cases, the risks of managing pain with opioids outweigh the benefits. Especially if used long-term, opioids can cause severe problems. If you are considering your options for pain management, talk to your doctor
to see if physical therapy could be right for you.