The CDC recently released recommendations to decrease use of opioids for chronic pain noting the benefits people gain may not be worth the risks involved. They recommend people try non-opioid medications and other treatments which may be of similar benefits and in some cases may even work better.

Opioids are a class of prescription pain pills including hydrocodone (Vciodin), Oxycodone (Oxycontin), Oxymorphone (Opana), Methadone and Fantanyl.  They are often the treatment provided for chronic pain and approximately 259 million opioid prescriptions were written in the US in 2012. This accounts for 80% of the worldwide use despite only having 5% of the world’s population.  The problem with this is there are some very serious risks with opioid usage including addiction and death. It is estimated 20% of people taking opioids long term are addicted and between 1999 and 2014, 165,000 people died from overdoses. Also long term use may lead to increased tolerance and sensitivity to pain meaning you have to take higher doses to have the same effect.

If opioids were the only way you could manage pain, the risks may be worth it but there are other treatments that may have similar benefits with much less risk. According to the CDC some of these options “may actually work better.”  This includes non-opioid medications and non medication based treatments. Medications are not my specialty so to learn more on these options, please talk to your physician. According to the CDC :

“nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy, weight loss for knee osteoarthritis, psychological therapies such as CBT, and certain interventional procedures can ameliorate chronic pain. There is high-quality evidence that exercise therapy (a prominent modality in physical therapy) for hip or knee osteoarthritis reduces pain and improves function immediately after treatment and that the improvements are sustained for at least 2–6 months.”

Physical therapists that treat pain conditions know that pain is a complicated problem. Ultimately the long term solution to managing pain is exercise and restoring movement but that is a difficult task as when you have pain, it’s tough to move. This is where having expertise in pain relieving treatment techniques can make the difference. Techniques such as medical cupping, myofascial release and cold laser can reduce pain levels allowing you to move better and exercise which is key to restoring movement and calming down pain signals.

FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Center of Hazleton are experts at pain relief with advanced training in treatment techniques including myofacial release and medical cupping. We utilize techniques not commonly seen in the area and we spell FYZICAL different because we are different.

To see the difference we can make in your life, call (570) 501-1808 to schedule an appointment or come in for a free 20 minute Q&A session to see if we may be able to help you. For more information visit our website www.hazletonpt.com or catch our WYLN TV show “Wellness Through FYZICAL Therapy” daily.