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.


Hands-On & PhysioCare Physical Therapy


  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. 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.
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