CDC: Nondrug Approaches Better for Chronic Pain Treatment
Timing is everything! We just wrote about the benefits of physical therapy for people with chronic pain in last month’s blog. Now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is backing us up!
The overuse, risk of addiction, and abuse of opioid medication is a big problem. President
Obama even spoke on the issue in his January 12 State of the Union address. According to the
CDC over 259 million opioid prescriptions were written in 2012, “enough for every adult...to
have a bottle of pills.” The CDC has drafted new guidelines aimed at primary providers in an
attempt to reduce the overuse of opioids, and cut the rates of overdose and opioid use
The guidelines are based on evidence regarding how effective opioids are in treating
chronic pain, what the risks of use are, and data on nondrug treatments and their effectiveness.
The first recommendation? Physical therapy and non-opioid pharmacologic therapy “are
preferred” for chronic pain. The guidelines continue: Based on evidence, “many
nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy...complementary and alternative
therapies (e.g., manipulation, massage and acupuncture)...can ameliorate chronic pain.”
The CDC also notes specifically how effective therapy is for hip and knee pain. “...there is high-
quality evidence that exercise therapy...reduces pain and improves function immediately after
treatment,” with improvements continuing for at least 2-6 months! We work with many
patients suffering from hip and knee pain who can attest to this fact.
Medicine is a good thing. And despite the scary headlines about addiction issues (and we’ve
seen plenty of them here in south Florida!) and the overuse of opioids, yes, opioid drugs can be
appropriate and beneficial. But why use them when they are not necessary, nor as effective and
long-lasting as physical therapy? Patients need to be their own advocate. Making informed
decisions and asking a doctor, “Is this drug necessary, or is there another option to improve my
quality of life?” are critical.
If you or someone you love lives with chronic pain, there are ways to decrease pain and improve mobility and quality of life!
We’ve helped many people do just that, and we can help you or your loved one, too. In most cases, physical therapy is covered by insurance.
Call us to and let’s get to work! (561) 278-6055
Your initial consultation is complimentary, so why wait?
Call us today and get started back on the road to full mobility and pain-free living!
The Miller PT Team
Where Fitness and Wellness Meet
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