OrthopedicPT: Opioid Crisis

PHYSICAL THERAPY & WELLNESS NEWSLETTER

2019

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEEK THERAPY OVER OPIOIDS?

It seems like almost every news broadcast these days features a story about a disturbing cluster of drug overdoses, with the word “opioid” prominently featured. So, why are these prescription drugs – which, after all, are legal if they were prescribed to the user - in the news so much these days? And what can you do if you’re torn between not filling your own prescription, versus seeking relief for your very real pain? Both opioid prescription rates and deaths from opioid overdoses have quadrupled in the last two decades. Given these identical statistics, one can’t escape the obvious conclusion: Reliance on painkillers has gotten out of hand, and the consequences can be literally fatal. In a study published by the American Physical Therapy Association, titled “Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management and Improve Health,” this issue is exhaustively analyzed. It identifies three important waves of the opioid epidemic: “1. Increases in deaths involving prescription opioids starting in 1999 2. Increases in deaths involving heroin starting in 2010 3. Increases in deaths involving synthetic opioids since 2013” (continued inside)

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