October 2016 – Rehab and Wellness Connection

National Physical Therapy Month

Happy National Physical Therapy Month 2016!  For 24 years, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has been recognizing and celebrating the profession of physical therapy and the value and impact physical therapists bring to people's lives through National PT Awareness month. Physical therapists are musculoskeletal pros and an integral member of a patient's healthcare team. For this and many other reasons, the 2016 Physical Therapy Awareness Month theme is #Choose PT!

APTA is using its knowledge and voice to join in a national campaign addressing a growing concern in America. Opioid use and potential addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the United States, even though there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. This year's #Choose PT! campaign lets our communities know about the risks of opioid use and that physical therapy is a safe, nonopiod alternative for managing pain. Of course, there are times when opioids are appropriate and the APTA certainly recognizes that as well. But for other pain management, the CDC recommends nonopioid approaches including physical therapy.

Patients should choose physical therapy when

  • The risks of opioid use outweigh the rewards. Potential side effects of opioids include depression, addiction and withdrawal when stopping.
  • Patients want to do more than just mask the pain. Opioids reduce the sensation of pain by interrupting pain signals to the brain. Physical therapists treat pain through movement while partnering with patients to improve or maintain their mobility and quality of life.
  • Pain is centered in the lower-back region and has lasted for more than 90 days. An evaluation and plan of care for treatment by a physical therapist can find the cause of this pain. In most cases, a prescribed treatment plan and exercise regimen will strengthen the area and reduce the pain.

Even if opioids are prescribed for pain, you can request the lowest dosage possible combined with physical therapy. Before you agree to begin an opioid prescription, consult with a physical therapist to discuss options for nonopiod treatment.

At Clear Lake Physical Therapy and Rehab Specialists, we work closely with our patients' health care team to plan the best, individualized plan of care treatment to restore our patients back to their maximum potential for mobility. We, as physical therapists, play a valuable role in the patient education process, including setting realistic expectations for recovery; with our without opioids.

If you are interested in learning more about the risks of opioids and the safe alternative of physical therapy for pain management, visit http://www.moveforwardpt.com/choose-physical-therapy-over-opiods-for-pain-management-choosept or stop in our clinic at 417 3rd Avenue in Clear Lake or call 715-263-4103. Our staff is more than willing to answer any questions you may have about Choosing Physical Therapy.