Another day, another trip to the pharmacy. This is the challenging and often discouraging treadmill that many chronic pain sufferers find themselves walking, month after month and year after year. Prescription pain medications can only do so much to keep your suffering at bay — and in the case of opioids, you may find yourself purchasing larger amounts more frequently just to keep up with your ever-increasing tolerance to these powerful drugs. If you’re tired of exhausting your patience, wellness and wallet, maybe it’s time you talked to your doctor about switching to physiotherapy as your primary pain management strategy.
There’s no disputing the fact that pain medication is a profitable industry. In addition to the enormous sums spent by consumers on over-the-counter pain relievers, the worldwide market for opioid drugs has been estimated at $25.4 billion — and it’s expected to keep growing. Opioids prevent pain signals from reaching the brain, enabling them to combat even the most severe pain. Unfortunately, the price of frequent opioid use far exceeds the money you pay for these drugs. The more you use opioids, the more likely your body is to develop a tolerance against them. As a result, you need to keep taking more frequent and/or more potent doses to achieve the same degree of pain relief. This is a fast, potentially deadly path to addiction.
Unfortunately, you also can’t assume that you’re getting a good deal from non-addictive pain relievers either. Milder drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen may not get you “hooked,” but their painkilling effects are short-lived, forcing you to keep dosing yourself every few hours. These medicines can also cause health problems with frequent or heavy use, with risks ranging from stomach bleeding to liver failure.
Instead of emptying your pockets on frequent drug refills that don’t even address the source of your discomfort, ask your doctor whether physiotherapy might help you wean yourself off of opioids or other medications. (Please note: you may need medical supervision to reduce heavy opioid use safely.) An experienced physiotherapist can examine the reasons for your pain and then devise a targeted, personalized pain management plan. Here are just a few of the ways physiotherapy can replace all those bottles of pills:
If you’re going to invest time, effort and money into feeling better, we encourage you to do it in a way that actually helps your body for safer long-term solutions. If your doctor agrees that physiotherapy can help you ditch the drugs, contact our administrative team to schedule an initial appointment and work out a pain management program!