Private practitioners urge patients to choose physical therapy over opioids to manage pain

Prescription opioid headlines are staggering: 40 Americans die each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids; they cost the United States economy $78.5 billion a year; and 227 million opioid prescriptions were handed out in the U.S. in 2015.

In response to the millions of Americans living with chronic pain and seeking relief, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) rolled out its #ChoosePT Campaign with a clear message: opioids only mask pain, physical therapists treat pain through movement and exercise. In concert with the APTA, members of the organization's Private Practice Section are stepping up efforts to educate the public about physical therapy as a safe, nondrug alternative to opioids for pain management.

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in the opioid epidemic, with studies showing more than half of pain sufferers turning to pills and other unproven methods for relief. Opioids are often prescribed to treat back pain, neck pain, and degenerative joint disease, but are not the only option patients have. Use of prescription opioids to mask pain is a risky, short-term solution that leads to powerful addiction and will never provide sufferers with long-term relief. Recommended as a safe alternative to opioids for pain management by both the CDC and the Surgeon General, physical therapy can help patients work through their condition and get better.

Hands-On and PhysioCare Physical Therapy in Astoria, NY is in the forefront of helping patients not only find pain relief but helping them resolve the source of their pain sensation. "The idea is not just to mask pain sensation, but to truly identify the source of the problem and implement appropriate Physical Therapy interventions to eliminate and resolve the patient's problem. This way patients can live a pain-free life," says Dr Konstantine Rizopoulos, co-founder of Hands-On.

Private practitioners have unique access to the right resources to help patients choose physical therapy to manage pain without the risks and side effects of opioids. These physical therapists rely on outcomes- based evidence to treat pain and help patients increase strength, flexibility, and improve mobility. Their primary focus is to fix the dysfunction permanently and give patients the tools to independently address dysfunction throughout their lifetime.

Dr. Dimitrios Kostopoulos, also co-founder of the Hands-On Companies, told a patient audience that "Hands-On & PhysioCare Physical Therapy utilize advanced diagnostic testing technologies to identify the exact source of the patient's problem, Coupling this with cutting edge manual therapy techniques and advanced laser modalities applied directly to the patient's problem area aim to resolve even previously unresolved patient problems."

The two founders of the Hands-On Companies, Dr. Dimitrios Kostopoulos and Dr. Konstantine Rizopoulos, are best-selling authors of Physical Therapy publications, have taught over seventy thousand physical therapists around the world and have successfully treated over 100,000 patients in their clinic for the past twenty-five years.

Source:

Hands-On & PhysioCare Physical Therapy

Comments

  1. Jeffrey Kraichely Jeffrey Kraichely United States says:

    Wow, can these Physical Therapist sound any more like Chiropractors?  Finding the cause of the pain, and treating that through manual therapies is the cornerstone of Chiropractic.  For decades Chiropractors have been promoting a drug free approach to pain management, and now the American people are paying the price for following the Medical drug model.  It is time for prejudice against Chiropractors to stop, and for all branches of Health care to come together for the benefit of the patient.

  2. Stephanie N Marcus Stephanie N Marcus United States says:

    Harm reduction is what is needed. No more money, time & resources to keep fighting a drug war that's raged on for decades without any tangible success at all, & is causing massive amounts of problems all over the country. Harm reduction is what is needed. Policy must be made to stop the drug war with the objective of shutting down the black market. The drug war has failed. The drug war is driving the problems, not fixing them. Decriminalization/legalization is necessary, it needs to be backed up with public health announcements explaining exactly why it is needed. Its not in any way condoning the abuse of addictors, it is done bc the alternative, the drug war, has made things infinitely worse on almost every level, to include making drugs abundantly available to any & all that wants them.
    We need to pull LE out of the drug biz - that will free up a lot of resources currently chasing their collective tails. When the laws create more harm and cause more damage than they prevent, its time to change the laws. The $1 TRILLION so-called war on drugs is a massive big government failure - on nearly every single level. Its way past time to put the cartels & black market drug dealers out of business. Mass incarceration has failed. We cant even keep drugs out of a contained & controlled environment like prison.
    We need the science of addiction causation to guide prevention, treatment, recovery & public policies. Otherwise, things will inexorably just continue to worsen & no progress will be made. Addiction causation research has continued to show that some people (suffering with addiction) have a "hypo-active endogenous opioid/reward system." This is the (real) brain disease, making addiction a symptom, not a disease itself. One disease, one pathology. Policy must be made reflecting addiction(s) as a health issue.
    The war on drugs is an apotheosis of the largest & longest war failure in history. It actually exposes our children to more harm & risk and does not protect them whatsoever. In all actuality, the war on drugs is nothing more than an international projection of a domestic psychosis. It is not the "great child protection act," its actually the complete opposite.
    The lesson is clear: Drug laws do not stop people from harming themselves, but they do cause addicts to commit crimes and harm others. We need a new approach that decriminalizes the disease. We must protect society from the collateral damage of addiction and stop waging war on ourselves. We must implement policy that stops this war on ourselves. We need common sense harm reduction approaches desperately. MAT (medication assisted treatment) and HAT (heroin assisted treatment) must be available options. Of course, MJ should not be a sched drug at all.
    Every human being is precious, worthy of love and belonging, and deserves opportunities to fulfill his or her potential regardless of past trauma, mental and emotional anguish, addictive behaviors or mistakes made.

  3. Mickey Garlock Mickey Garlock United States says:

    Well, when they can make PT as cheap as Vicodin I'll be all for it. I did notice one thing though.

    The American Physical Therapy Association bankrolled the entire article.

  4. Donna Schellstede Donna Schellstede United States says:

    Sickening. I am a chronic pain patient. I have very severe fibromyalgia and I have arthritis in my back where I had a spinal fusion. I have problems in my mid back and neck. They eventually want to do a fusion in my neck but because of the problems that will cause I'm trying my best to live with the pain for now.
    Physical therapy does help. It both helps and for a few patients it might even cure them but for complicated patients like me it will only help some. I know because I have gone 3-4 different times. They can't cure me. Period.
    To say that everyone can have their pain problem fixed with phystherapy is just plain wrong at best and negligent and harmful at worse.
    I literally can't function without pain meds to full the pain. I am in pain 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Pain meds do not get rid of the pain but they do dull it enough to be able to function more or less.
    How many people have to be punished with cruel and inhumane treatment. Or worse how many have committed suicide because they could no longer take the intense pain and their doctors wouldn't listen. Why.
    I completely support alternative pain treatments. Including physical therapy, acupuncture, manipulation, chiropractor,yoga,tai chi, swimming, facet injections, nerve ablation, trigger point injections, tens and ems units, massage and lots and lots of others. I will seriously consider trying anything.
    But all of those only work to a certain point.
    To be able to even go to physical therapy I would first have to take a pain pill. Otherwise I would be in so much pain that the physical therapist would send me home. Or more likely the er.
    This war on the rights of chronic pain patients to receive adequate relief is wrong. Very wrong. And it has cost people their life.
    Why do I have to suffer so much? Why?
    I'm not asking for pain pills to completely take away the pain. That's impossible. I'm just asking for enough to be able to partially function. Without the meds I'm unable to, clean house, cook even instant food, go grocery shopping, walk for exercise, take care of personal hygiene, take care of cats.
    Just basically day to day life.
    Even with pain meds I have to watch it. I can only do a little at a time. Then I have to rest. And for those that have told me to just push through the pain. I can't. Because if I do the flare-up it causes literally puts me down for days. For some it can even be weeks or require being admitted to a hospital until the pain can be brought under control. Under control also does not mean that the pain goes away. It just means that the pain has been brought down to a level that you can bare. Somewhat.
    Why am I and countless others forced to suffer?
    Why am I, we, being punished?
    Why am I treated like a criminal because I'm in pain?
    I live in fear of the day my pain meds are taken away.
    I don't know what I would do then. For almost a year I went without and even taking Tylenol and Advil I was unable to go places or participate in activities. I finally couldn't take it anymore and went back to pain management. Now while still in significant pain, which gets progressively worse with more activity, I can go to the store, walk for exercise, shop for my own groceries, feed myself, and other things of basic living.
    I have a life now. I have even been going to GED classes.
    Without the meds dulling the pan I would be unable to do any of that. Even with the meds it's still very hard for me to get things done. And there are a lot of times that I can't do anything because of the pain and fatigue.
    Why should I have to suffer because some people pain meds to get high?
    That's not my fault. I agree that use should be monitored but I should still be able to get what I need without being treated like a criminal.
    This is so frustrating that I just want to cry. And have.
    Why am I treated like filth for having health problems that are not my fault? I was born with these problems. I didn't do anything to cause them. In my spine there's spots with cartilage instead of bone. At 18 I was told I had no choice but to have a spinal fusion. I was forced to wear a hardshell brace for four months. The surgeon told me this was why the physical therapy wasn't working.
    Don't you think I suffer enough already?
    I'm only 34 years old and the way things are looking when it comes to pain medication I will be in a nursing home by 50 because that will be the only place I could get it. Even then they would probably restrict it to the point I just want to end it.
    Having to take pain meds is not fun. I have never once felt high on them. They make me nauseated at times. I feel I have to hide that I'm on them or people will either treat me like I'm a hard core drug addict or they will tell me that I shouldn't be taking them because of how bad they are. Even though they don't know what's wrong with me medically. Nor are they even doctors. I once took some Advil and a complete stranger asked me if I ate them like candy.
    In anyone but a chronic pain patient the pain I'm in would have them calling an ambulance while crying.
    I know that pain medicine can only help so much. I accept that. And I live with the flare-ups to the best of my ability. I do numerous non drug things to get through the pain. Even with meds I'm in pain twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. If I'm extremely lucky then the pain will ease up to where it's only there if I pay attention to it. I spend a lot of effort trying to ignore the pain.
    Once again I ask why am I being punished? Do you want me to get to the point that I would prefer to end it over being in unbearable pain? Please tell me.

  5. Donna Schellstede Donna Schellstede United States says:

    Sickening. I am a chronic pain patient. I have very severe fibromyalgia and I have arthritis in my back where I had a spinal fusion. I have problems in my mid back and neck. They eventually want to do a fusion in my neck but because of the problems that will cause I'm trying my best to live with the pain for now.
    Physical therapy does help. It both helps and for a few patients it might even cure them but for complicated patients like me it will only help some. I know because I have gone 3-4 different times. They can't cure me. Period.
    To say that everyone can have their pain problem fixed with phystherapy is just plain wrong at best and negligent and harmful at worse.
    I literally can't function without pain meds to full the pain. I am in pain 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Pain meds do not get rid of the pain but they do dull it enough to be able to function more or less.
    How many people have to be punished with cruel and inhumane treatment. Or worse how many have committed suicide because they could no longer take the intense pain and their doctors wouldn't listen. Why.
    I completely support alternative pain treatments. Including physical therapy, acupuncture, manipulation, chiropractor,yoga,tai chi, swimming, facet injections, nerve ablation, trigger point injections, tens and ems units, massage and lots and lots of others. I will seriously consider trying anything.
    But all of those only work to a certain point.
    To be able to even go to physical therapy I would first have to take a pain pill. Otherwise I would be in so much pain that the physical therapist would send me home. Or more likely the er.
    This war on the rights of chronic pain patients to receive adequate relief is wrong. Very wrong. And it has cost people their life.
    Why do I have to suffer so much? Why?
    I'm not asking for pain pills to completely take away the pain. That's impossible. I'm just asking for enough to be able to partially function. Without the meds I'm unable to, clean house, cook even instant food, go grocery shopping, walk for exercise, take care of personal hygiene, take care of cats.
    Just basically day to day life.
    Even with pain meds I have to watch it. I can only do a little at a time. Then I have to rest. And for those that have told me to just push through the pain. I can't. Because if I do the flare-up it causes literally puts me down for days. For some it can even be weeks or require being admitted to a hospital until the pain can be brought under control. Under control also does not mean that the pain goes away. It just means that the pain has been brought down to a level that you can bare. Somewhat.
    Why am I and countless others forced to suffer?
    Why am I, we, being punished?
    Why am I treated like a criminal because I'm in pain?
    I live in fear of the day my pain meds are taken away.
    I don't know what I would do then. For almost a year I went without and even taking paracetamol and ibuprofen I was unable to go places or participate in activities. I finally couldn't take it anymore and went back to pain management. Now while still in significant pain, which gets progressively worse with more activity, I can go to the store, walk for exercise, shop for my own groceries, feed myself, and other things of basic living.
    I have a life now. I have even been going to GED classes.
    Without the meds dulling the pan I would be unable to do any of that. Even with the meds it's still very hard for me to get things done. And there are a lot of times that I can't do anything because of the pain and fatigue.
    Why should I have to suffer because some people pain meds to get high?
    That's not my fault. I agree that use should be monitored but I should still be able to get what I need without being treated like a criminal.
    This is so frustrating that I just want to cry. And have.
    Why am I treated like filth for having health problems that are not my fault? I was born with these problems. I didn't do anything to cause them. In my spine there's spots with cartilage instead of bone. At 18 I was told I had no choice but to have a spinal fusion. I was forced to wear a hardshell brace for four months. The surgeon told me this was why the physical therapy wasn't working.
    Don't you think I suffer enough already?
    I'm only 34 years old and the way things are looking when it comes to pain medication I will be in a nursing home by 50 because that will be the only place I could get it. Even then they would probably restrict it to the point I just want to end it.
    Having to take pain meds is not fun. I have never once felt high on them. They make me nauseated at times. I feel I have to hide that I'm on them or people will either treat me like I'm a hard core drug addict or they will tell me that I shouldn't be taking them because of how bad they are. Even though they don't know what's wrong with me medically. Nor are they even doctors. I once took some ibuprofen and a complete stranger asked me if I ate them like candy.
    In anyone but a chronic pain patient the pain I'm in would have them calling an ambulance while crying.
    I know that pain medicine can only help so much. I accept that. And I live with the flare-ups to the best of my ability. I do numerous non drug things to get through the pain. Even with meds I'm in pain twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. If I'm extremely lucky then the pain will ease up to where it's only there if I pay attention to it. I spend a lot of effort trying to ignore the pain.
    Once again I ask why am I being punished? Do you want me to get to the point that I would prefer to end it over being in unbearable pain? Please tell me.

  6. Christian Nelson Christian Nelson United States says:

    For far too long the healthcare industry has focused on band-aid solutions; treating back pain with pills or expensive and ineffective surgeries.  If you want results you need to look at the cause. The truth is, most of us have terrible posture, we slouch and hunch our way through life and wonder why we have the most back pain here in the U.S. than anywhere else.  It’s a hard fix too.  I tried yoga and braces but that doesn’t last very long.  What I needed was small but effective changes I could integrate into my daily life that dealt with what was causing me pain in the first place.  The Gokhale Method taught me just that.  So if you are looking to find real relief check it out.  It’s the only thing has helped.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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