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Pinnacle News and Updates

A Safe Alternative to Opioids

The increased use of opioids for pain management in America has created a national health crisis. Opioid prescription (Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana, and methadone, and combination drugs like Percocet) rates have quadrupled since 1999, leading to similar increases in prescription opioid deaths and heroin deaths. In response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines in March 2016 urging prescribers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safer alternatives in the treatment of chronic pain. Physical therapy is one of the recommended nonopioid alternatives. Physical therapists treat pain through movement, helping patients improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical therapists also can educate their patients about pain, which has been known to improve outcomes¹.


Physical therapists treat pain through movement.Opioids only mask the sensation of pain.
Physical therapy “side effects” include improved mobility, increased
independence, decreased pain, and prevention of other health problems
through movement and exercise.
Opioid side effects include depression, overdose,
addiction, and withdrawal symptoms.
Physical therapy is effective for numerous conditions, and the CDC cited
“high-quality evidence” supporting exercise as part of physical therapist
treatment for familiar conditions like low back pain, hip, and knee
osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Opioid effectiveness for long-term pain management
is inconclusive in many cases.

Choose physical therapy to manage your pain without the risks and side effects of opioids: Contact us today!

1 Rundell SD, Davenport TE. Patient education based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy for a patient with persistent low back pain: a case report. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2010:40:494–501.
2 Katz JN, Brophy RH, Chaisson CE, et al. Surgery versus physical therapy for a meniscal tear and osteoarthritis [erratum
in: N Engl J Med. 2013;369:683]. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:1675-1684.
3 Longo UG, Franceschi F, Berton A, et al. Conservative treatment and rotator cuff tear progression. Med
Sport Sci. 2012;57:90–99.

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