Understanding the alternative approaches that a PT can offer to pain management may prevent the next victim of the pharmaceutical industry.
With the opioid epidemic in full force, it’s a shame that the media is missing the opportunity–like the medical field has–to discuss pain management alternatives other than more pharmaceuticals. Physical therapy (PT) is often overlooked and yet readily available to reduce, manage, and even resolve pain. Since 2015, all entry level physical therapists (PTs) must complete a doctorate level PT program. This sets PTs up with the knowledge and the ability to address the root cause and management of your pain, without drugs, better than any other healthcare professional out there.
Also, according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), since 2015 all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands allow patients to go directly to a PT without a referral or a prescription from a physician. PTs are highly trained in the analysis of the body’s systems and can determine if the particular symptoms can be treated with therapy. In other words, a PT is highly qualified to recognize a patient’s need for more medical attention and refer accordingly. Saving you an unnecessary trip to your physician.
Take control over your pain and go directly to a PT first. This is what to expect when seeking the care of a PT:
A PT will:
- spend an average of 60 minutes during the first visit to thoroughly examine your painful condition and determine if therapy is right for you.
- continuously assess and make alterations as needed based on your response to the treatment to maximize the benefits.
- utilize a wide range of hands-on manual techniques as needed in order to limit underlying dysfunction in your body to optimize recovery.
- engage you in taking responsibility for managing your long-term recovery by prescribing a set of exercises called a “Home Exercise Program” or HEP.
- listen and communicate openly and honestly with you to ensure you understand your condition and the treatment plan.
- will refer you to a wide spectrum of highly specialized clinicians who have alternate approaches if symptoms aren’t improving.
- advise you to seek a specialist if your symptoms present as a more serious medical condition.
It is clear that the way physicians have been treating pain in the US is a dismal failure. Physicians know about the benefits of physical therapy and know about the risks of prescribing highly addictive opioids to their patients. They are highly educated professionals, and yet they have lead us straight into this tragic epidemic. According to the CDC opioids killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record and as many as 1 in 4 people who receive prescribed opioids long term for pain struggle with addiction. Who do you want treating your pain? PTs are well equipped to take on the challenges of pain and the long term management of pain. PT is one profession that you-that all Americans-can’t afford not to know.