Excel PT: Afraid of Taking Pain Meds?

Caroline Hodgins, PT, DPT Caroline is a therapist at our Blue Bell clinic location. Read her full profile here: FEATURED PT

How PT Reduces Pain Medication Dependency

1. How did you decide to become a physical therapist and what motivates you to work with patients? I have always been interested in healthcare and helping people. I first became interested in PT after a friend suffered a spinal cord injury and gradually regained full function.

I found it incredible how the body can heal itself when the right muscles are adequately facilitated. My interest continued to grow with my athletic experience, and I became more in tune with sports-specific training to optimize performance. I am motivated to work with patients, whether it is to help someone become more mobile to safely walk across a parking lot, or to help a young athlete compete in a significant competition. It’s all about quality of life and optimizing function – which looks different for everyone, but is empowering no matter how big or small. 2. In your words, what makes Excel PhysicalTherapy different from other physical therapy clinics? My experience at Excel, so far, has allowed me to spend time with each of my patients to get to know their individual needs. The one-on-one time we spend on the first visit will enable me to find what is essential to each person who comes in the door, so I can help them reach their goals. I also love the teamwork and collaboration among my co-workers throughout the day. We can all learn things from each other to benefit our patients. 3. What was your most memorable patient experience? I can’t pick just one. But the most memorable patient experiences are the ones where I get to know people and help them achieve personal goals. Getting someone better to compete in their end-of-season sporting event, helping someone be able to navigate stairs so they can safely go to a family holiday party, helping someone recover from a shoulder injury, or surgery so they can hold their young son or daughter – the list goes on and on. 4. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? I would be a dolphin so I can explore the ocean and flip through the air. 5. If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be and why? Determined. I set goals and work towards them, even if it is difficult to do so. When I decide I want to do something I stick to the plan. I am determined to be a good PT and help my patients! 6. What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic? I like to spend my free time with my fiancé, family, and friends. I enjoy swimming, working out, playing card games and board games, and going out for wings and beer. I like to spend my time outside when the weather is nice, whether that is finding local hiking spots or trying to ski (both new hobbies of mine). I also like to kick back and watch the latest shows on Netflix.

Physicians and physical therapists are all too aware of the dangers of pain medication dependency in their patients, and the data is startling. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, over 2.1 million Americans are considered to be addicted to prescription pain medications. When you suffer with acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, this leads to a dilemma of how to treat the pain. However, many people don’t fully utilize the benefits of natural pain relief with physical therapy. In fact, studies show that physical therapy is vastly under prescribed, with only 9% of people with common back ailments seeking physical therapy. Physical therapy addresses the underlying causes of musculoskeletal pain including weakness, strain, improper range of motion, and poor joint coordination. Patients can obtain natural pain relief quickly with hands-on manual therapy, myofascial release and modalities. Help yourself achieve natural and fast pain relief, without the dangers of opioid addiction by choosing physical therapy first. We make it simple to get started, just call the nearest Excel Physical Therapy location today. You’ll be glad you did!

SubstanceAbuseandMentalHealthServicesAdministration,Results from the2012NationalSurveyonDrugUse andHealth:SummaryofNationalFindings,NSDUHSeriesH-46,HHSPublicationNo. (SMA)13-4795.Rockville, MD:SubstanceAbuseandMentalHealthServicesAdministration,2013.



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