In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.
Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.
In 2017 HHS declared a public health emergency and announced a 5-Point Strategy To Combat the Opioid Crisis
Do Opioids help improve function?
“It’s not clear [in clinical trials] that opiates actually improve function in the long run,” she says. “In fact, there’s some evidence that people on chronic opiates lose function over the long run.” Loss of function is due in part to the side effects of these drugs, which include nausea, vomiting, and constipation. While they might ease pain, the side effects can keep a person from getting on with their life. What’s more, most people typically need to increase the dosage over time to keep getting the same level of pain relief”
- · Over a 200% increase in opioid overdoses since 2000
- · In 2015 alone, more than 30,000 people perished as the result of the overuse
- · Each day, more than 40 Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses
- · The amount of opioids prescribed and sold in the United States has quadrupled since 1999 with opioid-related deaths numbering more than 168,000
- · The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey Reports suggest there was a 2.2-fold increase in overdose deaths from all drugs from 2002 to 2015, when more than 52,000 people died
- · From 1999 to 2016, more than 630,000 people have died from a drug overdose.
- · Around 66% of the more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved an opioid.
- · In 2016, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 5 times higher than in 1999.
- · On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose
One of several solutions to managing pain
Studies have shown there is evidence that Physical Therapy Is effective in treating pain and preventing chronic pain
· Low back pain
o A review of more than 60 randomized controlled trials evaluating exercise therapy for adults with low back pain found that such treatment can decrease pain, improve function, and help people return to work.39 The American College of Physicians states that “non-pharmacologic interventions are considered first-line options in patients with chronic low back pain because fewer harms are associated with these types of therapies than with pharmacologic options.”40
· Before and after surgery
o A review of 35 randomized controlled studies with a total of nearly 3,000 patients found that in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty, preoperative exercise and education led to significant reductions in pain, shorter lengths of stay postoperatively, and improvements in function.41
o Studies have shown that therapeutic exercise programs can reduce pain and improve physical function among individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis.42,43
Chronic pain can be devastating. You don’t just want to survive, you want to thrive. A physical therapist can get you moving again, and moving = thriving
Get PT first before taking opioids.
Drop the Pills!