Joint pain is a debilitating ailment that can cause even the most cheerful person to feel depressed. The condition can be caused by arthritis or some other chronic illness that persists and even grows worse over time. Joint pain can also be caused by an accident that causes the joint to be moved in a way that it was not intended. Perhaps it is a vehicle accident, a sports injury, or something work related. In either case, if the accident is severe, the pain to the joint can be unbearable and again, get worse over time.
Opioids are Not the Solution
One of the first line defenses against joint pain is the use of painkillers to relieve the pain. If the pain is only slight, doctor can prescribe over-the-counter medication like Tylenol or Advil that will provide release someone suffering from joint pain. However if the pain is intense, doctors would likely prescribe an opioid based pain killer to assist with pain mitigation. These painkillers are effective but require larger and larger doses over time to treat the same amount of pain.
The drugs can have awful negative effects on the kidneys, liver, heart and immune system, causing additional health problems They are also very addictive. As a result people taking them will gain an addiction and many end up doing things that are outside of their character or illegal to continue receiving the drug even when the pain episodes have passed. The use of opioids has come under heavy scrutiny in western countries and the medical community is looking for alternatives to patients with pain taking these dangerous medications.
Physical Therapy and Joint Pain
Physical therapists or physiotherapists are medically trained professionals who utilize a range of therapies to treat pain and injury of the musculoskeletal system which includes the muscles, ligaments, and joints. Their patients include those born with painful conditions, those who develop them at some point in their lives and those who are injured. Typical patients include car accident victims, sports injuries patients, work accident victims, and the elderly. A physiotherapist will use non-medication methods to assist with pain management or elimination. Instead they utilize a range of therapies including physiotherapy exercises, pilates, massage therapy and other proven regimens that help patients to heal, regain strength in their joints and muscles, to regain or improve their range of motion in their joints and muscles and to eliminate or vastly reduce pain.
Physical therapy is very effective for joint pain and can in some cases cause patients to cease their use of opioid painkillers. Doctors today are being told to direct those suffering from joint pain to physical therapist rather than only prescribing opioid pain killers even if the patient asks for the pain meds. Physiotherapists hold one of the keys to ending opioid prescription drug addiction.
Although the transition has been slow, more and more patients and medical professionals are realizing the benefits that physical therapists can have in treating joint pain. Their therapies are safe and non-addictive and most of all effective.