According to an article in the June 2019 issue of Consumer Reports, 1 in 5 Americans is experiencing chronic pain. Traditionally, chronic pain has been treated with pain relievers (sometimes opioids) and rest. This model of pain relief is proving to be unacceptable due to our country’s opioid addiction crisis. Alternative, drug-free treatment options are becoming more readily available and studies are showing that a combination approach to therapy is the most effective treatment. Using a combination of modalities such as physical therapy, acupuncture, counseling, and meditation can provide a broader treatment plan that can help to address multiple symptoms.
From a physical therapy perspective, for example, a therapist can develop a program of exercises and stretches. These can be performed before and after work and during work breaks. Shifting from a drug-based treatment plan to a physical activity plan, reduces pain and allows patients more daily movement. Also, when physical therapists offer strength and stretching routines that are tailored to individual patient needs and abilities, clients are more likely to adhere to the routines. This adherence will help to improve mobility and decrease pain.
The article that inspired this write-up can be found in the June 2019 issue of Consumer Reports.
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