Physical therapy an alternative to prescription pain meds
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
As awareness to the nation's opioid epidemic continues to gain attention, health care professionals are rethinking how to go about treating long-term pain; and thanks to significant research in recent years, we now understand that chronic pain is complex and varied, so it can neither be easily diagnosed nor solved. As such, doctors must balance a patient's symptoms with medical analysis, weighing the risks and potential benefits of different treatments. The most innovative healthcare providers are transforming singular models of care (like prescription medications) into hybrids that bring together experts such as physical therapists, behavioral health therapists and health coaches with primary care physicians to offer alternatives beyond prescription painkillers. Treatments like physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy -- including relaxation training, guided exercise and biofeedback -- are recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alliance for Health Policy as more cost-effective, results-driven solutions to pain management than opioids.