February 19, 2020
Any amount of pain can be a nuisance to your life, especially when it lasts for a while. Everyone deals with pain differently, and there are many treatments available to address it. When presented with such an array of options, it may become difficult to determine what the best and safest path forward is for you, especially when pain relief is your number one priority. Some interventions—like medications and surgery—may also claim to be capable of fixing the problem immediately, but the potential risks involved in these approaches are not as readily presented. To help you navigate this process, we’d like to explain why physical therapy is the smartest and safest way to address any pain in Bowie you may be experiencing.
The U.S. is currently experiencing an epidemic due to the over-prescription of pain medications, particularly opioids. Though our country represents less than 5% of the world’s population, we consume more than 80% of the global supply of opioids. The number of prescriptions for opioids increased by 600% from 1997-2007, and there has been a threefold increase in the abuse of these drugs over the past few years.
These shocking figures reveal just how big of a problem opioid use is in the U.S. Although there are many patients that actually need these medications because they have painful conditions that can’t be treated by any other means, some doctors may prescribe them because it’s an apparently fast and simple solution. In other cases, patients are prescribed opioids to help them deal with pain after surgery, but this can lead to some negative repercussions. Studies have shown that patients who continue to use opioids after surgery have worse outcomes than those who don’t, with a greater number of symptoms, more stress, more disability, and a higher tolerance for opioids. A higher tolerance for opioids is very dangerous and can lead to addiction if the drugs are taken for long enough.
Surgery is another option to manage painful conditions that many are turning to these days for relief right away. While it’s true that many patients do require surgery and it often leads to positive outcomes when used in the right situations, patients must also recognize that it comes with a number of potential downsides. Cost is the first factor to consider, as most surgeries are extremely expensive, and the patient responsibility of this cost is quite high in many cases. Relief also doesn’t come immediately, as rehabilitation is always needed and recovery time can be rather extensive depending on the procedure. In addition, there’s a chance that the procedure does not lead to the results the patient expects, which may then require additional surgeries or other treatments to resolve it. Lastly, there are always also some risks involved with the surgical procedure itself that can lead to further complications.
Physical therapy is a low-risk solution to all types of pain in Bowie
Physical therapy is a long-term solution rather than a temporary fix, and as the best possible option for managing pain in Bowie, we strongly encourage that you try it before filling an opioid prescription or having surgery. A course of physical therapy may take longer, but the time spent will lead to lasting improvements and eliminate the need for other intervention in the future. Every painful condition is different and will be treated as such, but most programs will include some of the following elements:
- Pain-relieving modalities like electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and ice or heat therapy
- Soft-tissue mobilization techniques
- Strengthening exercises
- Stretching exercises
- Pain-relieving exercises
- Education on activity modification or about positioning
So if you’re dealing with pain in Bowie of any sort, we strongly encourage you to come in to CAM Physical Therapy and Wellness Services for an evaluation. Call us at 301-453-7598 to schedule an appointment at any of our four clinics in Glenn Dale/Bowie, Laurel, Hyattsville, or Silver Spring, MD today, or click here for more information on physical therapy for pain.