October is National Physical Therapy Month. Patients who would prefer to try just about anything before taking prescription opioids to treat their physical pain are not alone. According to a new report, most Americans would rather use a drug-free approach.
Earlier this year, data was collected from nearly 63,000 American adults. 78% prefer to find another option to treat pain rather than taking medication prescribed by their doctors. The use of narcotics is viewed as a “crisis” or a very serious problem, and most people do not want to get caught up in it.
This study could mean that in the future, patients and health-care professionals alike will try drug-free treatment options before relying on opioids.
Instead of using pain medications, those surveyed in this recent study chose physical therapy as the safest option in treating pain.
“Physical therapy has becoming very integrative,” states Amy Robinson, PT, Director of Rehabilitation at Veterans Memorial Hospital. “We deal with the physical, psychological, and emotional aspects of injury and pain. Not only do we as therapists treat the pain and work to improve our patient’s function, we listen to how the injury has affected the patient’s life. Some patients become depressed and saddened by how they can’t enjoy life when the pain is so intense. We talk to them about their pain and help them manage it on a day-to-day basis. Every patient is different, so we individualize the treatment plan based on each patient’s needs.”
Veterans Memorial Hospital Rehab Staff offers an additional pain-relieving modality called dry needling. Dry needling is similar to acupuncture, but it treats painful muscle regions and has been quite effective. Physical therapists in the state of Iowa are licensed to perform all dry needling services.
For more information on utilizing physical therapy for pain management, or for more information on the dry needling services offered at Veterans Memorial Hospital, please call 568-3411.