opioids, prescription drugs, painkillers, Live Your Life Physical Therapy

Better Alternatives to Prescription Pain Medication

| Dr. Eva Norman

We would like to follow up on last month’s blog regarding poisoning as the #1 cause of accidental deaths.  Within that category is prescription medication overdose also known as opioid overdose.  There has been a lot in the news lately regarding the rise in addiction to prescription pain killers.

In looking at the upsurge in prescription drug use, according to the CDC in 2014 alone, there were nearly 2 million people who were depended on or had abused prescription opioids.1

Chronic pain sufferers face many challenges.  Opioids are drugs that are generally prescribed to reduce and relieve pain.  The prescribing of opioids can have long term risks and side effects. Heroin is an illegal drug that falls into the opioid category.2  

Commonly prescribed opioids:2
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

These painkillers can be effective short term but are being overprescribed and can have serious risks with long term use.3   In light of this rising epidemic regarding opioid prescriptions, talk with your doctor regarding the risk and benefits of prescribed opioids along with other available treatment options.  You can also consult with a physical therapist to discuss alternative non opioid therapy such as physical therapy. #ChoosePT

To help raise awareness to help individuals and their families, please check out the Center for Disease Control (CDC) site to learn more about opioids.4

Learn to manage your pain and not have it manage you.  Physical therapy can be very effective in helping you manage pain.  Physical therapists can help by educating you on proper exercises to alleviate your pain and using pain management techniques.  Physical therapists will customize a plan of care for you to meet your specific needs.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a dependency on pain medications, ask us about safer ways to manage pain without the use of opioids.  Physical therapists are a vital resource for those individuals battling managing their pain.3 The American Physical Therapy Association has also launched a national campaign on opioid awareness. For further information on ways to reduce opioid use through the benefits of physical therapy go to APTA’s website.

At Live your LifeTM we offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, personal training, acupuncture, massage therapy, health coaching along with dietary services.

Live Your Life by managing your pain today!

Dr. Eva Norman
President & Founder
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Live Your Life TM
Bringing Physical Therapy & Wellness to You!


1 CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prescribing/guideline.html  Accessed July 11, 2016

2 Safer, More Effective Pain Management. http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prescribing/patients.html  Accessed July 12, 2016

3 Physical Therapy vs Opioids: When to Choose Physical Therapy for Pain Management. http://www.moveforwardpt.com/Resources/Detail/physical-therapy-vs-opioids-when-to-choose-physica Accessed July 12, 2016

4 Injury Prevention & Control: Opioid Overdose. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/ Accessed July 12, 2016

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