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Physical Therapy and the Opioid Epidemic

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

Physical Therapy is a highly effective treatment for pain. It provides hands on treatment, exercise and pain education that help people manage and even eliminate their pain.

Opioids are frequently prescribed by physicians for pain. Over the past decade their prescription has increased by more than 7% particularly for chronic pain (lasting >3 months). There is nothing wrong with doctors wanting to control our pain, however the problem is in the duration of their use and what the opioids do to our bodies. Some compare taking opioids to taking heroin. They are highly addictive and people can die by overdosing.

More needs to be done to tell people suffering from pain that they have a choice. Some statistics say that 50% of people with back pain see their physician. Of those, about 50% get prescribed opioids but only 7% get a referral to see a physical therapist.

You have a choice! Most people don’t know that they can see a PT first without a doctor’s referral. There is a lot of research that has shown that physical therapy is just as effective or better than medications, injections or surgery.

A pill cannot be a quick fix to all the problems. They alleviate the symptoms but don’t deal with the cause. PT can actually be a quick fix if used within a couple of weeks rather than a couple of months. A PT can help you know all of your options and address the cause and symptoms of pain.

If you or someone you love are suffering and living with pain, want to stop taking medications or want more information about your options, call our office today 609-436-0366 to talk to our specialist or visit


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