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Physical Therapy and Opioid Abuse: Decreasing opioid use through pain reduction

By Results Physiotherapy

Physical Therapy and Opioid AbuseThe evidence supporting the opioid epidemic in the United States continues to mount. Recently, two distinct sources released data and guidance regarding these highly addictive prescription drugs, with brand names such as OxyContin® and Vicodin®.

The first source, from a study¹ published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, found that between 2002 and 2014, the risk of prescription opioid addiction among young adults rose 37%. Among 28-25 year olds, heroin use over the past year also rose from 2% to 7%. For adults ages 26 to 34, the risk of an opioid disorder more than doubled, from 11% to 24%.

“The potential development of prescription opioid use disorder among youth and young adults represents an important and growing public health concern,” said the author if the study, Dr. Silvia Martins of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The second came from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which is requiring substantial cuts in the production of opioids. It’s reported that the amount of opioids produced in the United States will decrease by at least 25% by 2017. The DEA stated that hydrocodone production would also decrease by 34%.

The DEA noted a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health – released in September – which found that 6.5 million Americans over the age of 12 used controlled prescription medicines for non-medical reasons during the past month. That was second only to marijuana, and more than users of cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined, over the past 30 days.

“Reduction makes sense,” says Mark Tinsey, chief marketing officer for Results Physiotherapy, “but we still need to help those individuals living with pain. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control provided guidance to healthcare professionals on alternative treatments, which included physical therapy.”

“We recognize there are times when these medications are appropriate,” continues Tony Ueber, Results Physiotherapy president and CEO, “but our approach to physical therapy not only alleviates pain in the short term, it educates our patients on how they can maintain their health and well-being for the long term. Dependence on a narcotic for long-term pain relief is not the answer. We help patients eliminate the cause of their pain, not just manage the symptoms of it.”

In response to the CDC guidance, the physical therapy community, led by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), has banded together and launched its own campaign: #ChoosePT (MoveForwardPT.com).

“Results is taking a leadership position in this initiative because we’ve seen what our unique approach to physical therapy can do for our patients,” says Ueber. “From debilitating headaches, TMJ, back and knee pain, to pain in the pelvic region, Results PT consistently treats over 100 musculoskeletal conditions that yield life-changing improvement for our patients.”

“Results is proud of the role physical therapy can play in this battle against addiction and living without pain,” concludes Tinsey. “If pain is impacting someone’s life and ability to do the things they care about, Results is ready to help.”

About Results Physiotherapy
Results Physiotherapy offers world-class manual-based physical therapy, a groundbreaking advance over the outdated, exercise-only approach. The licensed therapists at Results receive four times more training and advanced education compared to the industry standard, and patient outcomes are in the top 10% nationally (Source: Focus On Therapeutic Outcomes, Inc.). At Results, patients get better, faster.

320 Bristol West Blvd., Ste. 2A
(423) 758-1048

Johnson City
Orthopedic and Pelvic Health Therapy
2312 Knob Creek Rd., Ste 200
(423) 232-8302

210 S. Cumberland St.
(423) 585-5023

For a complete list of locations and information regarding Results Physiotherapy Clinics, visit us at www.resultspt.com.

If you would like individual questions answered by a senior clinician visit www.resultspt.com/ask-a-physical-therapist.

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