During National Physical Therapy Month in October, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) will raise awareness among consumers about the risks of opioids and the benefits of physical therapy as a safe and effective alternative for long-term pain management.
The nation’s growing opioid epidemic is alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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." 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
But there are safer alternatives to treating pain. The CDC urges prescribers to reduce the use of opioids for pain management in favor of safer alternatives, such as physical therapy, particularly for low back pain, fibromyalgia, and hip and knee osteoarthritis. And guidelines from the American College of Physicians, and a consensus study from the National Academies encourage health care providers to pursue safer alternatives, like physical therapy, for most non-cancer-related pain management.
Physical therapists treat pain through movement and exercise, helping patients improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical therapists also can educate their patients about pain, which has been known to improve outcomes.
Learn why you should #ChoosePT for safe treatment of pain.
About National Physical Therapy Month
National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) is a commemoration held each October by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). NPTM is designed to recognize the impact that physical therapists and physical therapist assistants make in restoring and improving motion in people's lives.
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