Thursday, November 1, 2018

National Physical Therapy Month

National PT month is over.

We set out to spread the message to drop the pills, consider alternatives to pain management.

Over the 31 days in October, we had over 25 videos posted of our staff dropping the pills, we had over 3300 views of our customers watching us drop the pills, and we personally delivered about 350 medicine bottles filled with M&M candies (to simulate you can't have just one, much like an opioid) to our local communities and Doctors offices to help spread the word.

We spread a loud message about the opioid crisis in America, such as:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Physicians, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have issued guidelines and reports urging health care providers to pursue safe nondrug alternatives, including physical therapy, for most non–cancer-related pain treatment.

Physical therapists (PTs) treat pain through movement, hands-on care, and patient education—and by increasing physical activity you can also reduce your risk of other chronic diseases.

A recent study published in Health Services Research found that patients who saw a PT before trying other treatments for low back pain were 89% less likely to need an opioid prescription.

Statistics from the CDC, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the United States (US) Department of Health and Human Services reveal the gravity of the problem.

1. In 2016, health care providers across the US wrote more than 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication—a rate of 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people.

2. As many as 1 in 5 people receive prescription opioids long-term for noncancer pain in primary care settings.

3. More than 11 million people abused prescription opioids in 2016.

4. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.

5. More than 40% of all US opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid.

6. Drug overdoses claimed the lives of nearly 64,000 Americans in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths (66%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid.

7. The CDC estimates the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse in the US is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of health care, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

If you know someone in pain, encourage them to talk to their physician or PT about safe ways to manage pain.

The American Physical Therapy Association’s #ChoosePT campaign is raising awareness about the dangers of prescription opioids, and encourages consumers and prescribers to choose safer alternatives like physical therapy for most chronic pain management.

 If you have problems with pain, or know anyone in pain that could benefit from Physical Therapy to avoid use of medications and restore function, please give us a call! 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US drug overdose deaths continue to rise; increase fueled by synthetic opioids. Updated March 29, 2018. Accessed July 26, 2018.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescribing data. Updated August 30, 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Opioid basics. Updated August 27, 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription opioid overdose data. Updated August 1, 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. US prescribing rate maps.  Updated July 31, 2017. Accessed July 26, 2018.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2016. Accessed July 26, 2018.
Florence CS, Zhou C, Luo F, Xu L. The economic burden of prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence in the United States, 2013. Med Care. 2016;54(10):901–906. Free Article

Robert Babb, PT, MBA, is owner and practicing Physical Therapist at the Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute located in Lansdale, Montgomeryville, Quakertown, West Norriton, Glenside, Harleysville, and Souderton, Hatfield, and Horsham, Pennsylvania. Rated the Best Physical Therapy for over 15 years, the hands on, one on one care at The Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute has offered pain relief and improved function to our suburban Philadelphia communities since 2002. For back pain, knee pain, jaw pain, joint pain, shoulder pain, and now help with our advanced specialists in urinary and bowel incontinence, we are open from 7 am to 8 pm most nights, and Saturdays!