Treating Chronic Pain
With overuse of opioids for the treatment of chronic pain becoming a national public health epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines that recommend nondrug approaches such as physical therapy over long-term or high-dosage use of addictive prescription painkillers.
"The contextual evidence review found that many non-pharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy, weight loss for knee osteoarthritis, psychological therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and certain interventional procedures can ameliorate chronic pain," the guidelines state. "There is high-quality evidence that exercise therapy (a prominent modality in physical therapy) for hip or knee osteoarthritis reduces pain and improves function immediately after treatment and that the improvements are sustained for at least 2-6 months. Previous guidelines have strongly recommended aerobic, aquatic, and/or resistance exercises for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. Exercise therapy also can help reduce pain and improve function in low back pain and can improve global well-being and physical function in fibromyalgia."
Physical therapists partner with patients, their families, and other health care professionals to manage pain, often reducing or eliminating the need for opioids. Research has shown that a simple education session with a physical therapist can lead to improved function, range of motion, and decreased pain.
Recently the American Physical Therapy Association launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the risks of opioids and the safe alternative of physical therapy for long-term pain management. There is a downloadable pain assessment sheet that patients can use to facilitate treatment conversations with their health care providers.
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We're here to help solve your pain problem or provide you with the rehabilitation expertise to return you to your normal routine. That's what we do. When you need us, we'll be here. For experienced pain relief and rehabilitation, call Loudoun Physical Therapy today.