Arthritis and Opioids Don’t Have to Go Hand-in-Hand

Arthritis and Opioids Don’t Have to Go Hand-in-Hand

Arthritis and Opioids Don’t Have to Go Hand-in-Hand

Discover the Natural Healing Benefits of Physical Therapy at Cedar Hill Physical Therapy in Greensboro, NC

Arthritis is a broad term that refers to hundreds of different diseases. Inflammation and joint pain are two of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other types of arthritis. Whatever type of arthritis you have, you’re probably dealing with varying degrees of pain. We’re here to let you know that there is a better option if you’re taking opioids for your pain – contact us to learn more.

Why should I consider physical therapy?

It is quite common for people living with arthritis pain to resort to costly surgery, steroid injections, and prescription medications to alleviate their symptoms.

Patients with severe arthritis may benefit from these treatments in some cases. However, physical therapy and natural treatments are frequently the better options.

Arthritis does not discriminate, and while it is most commonly found in elderly patients, it can affect anyone of any age.

According to a JAMA study, “[rheumatoid] arthritis (RA) occurs in about 5 per 1000 people and can lead to severe joint damage and disability.”

In addition, arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Patients with arthritis may experience extremely painful symptoms for a long time if they are not treated by a professional.

Please contact our office if you want to learn more about how physical therapy can help you reduce your arthritis pain.

Are you limited by arthritic aches and pains?

If you have osteoarthritis, you are likely to experience pain, stiffness, and limited flexibility. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause similar symptoms and can even affect the organs.

Psoriatic arthritis and gout are two other types of arthritis that can result in varying degrees of pain, inflammation, and mobility limitations. Arthritis pain can interfere with even the most basic daily activities.

With any of these types of arthritis, washing, cooking, and using the stairs can be difficult. The intensity of the pain can also vary from day to day. As a result, it can become all too easy to rely on strong pain relievers to deal with arthritis pain.

The dangers of opioids

Opioids are highly potent narcotics that provide numbing relief. They have the ability to bind to the opioid receptors in the brain and limit the pain messages that are sent to the brain. Oxycodone and morphine are both classified as opioids.

While opioid drugs may be beneficial when used carefully over a short period of time, they do have serious drawbacks.

They are extremely addictive and frequently interact with other drugs. In 2016, approximately 42,000 people died as a result of opioid overdoses.

If you are currently taking an opioid for arthritis pain, you should be aware that there is a safer alternative that can reduce and even eliminate pain.

Find relief with physical therapy

Physical therapy can be an effective alternative to taking opioids for arthritis pain.

There are several specific ways that a physical therapist can help an individual struggling with arthritis pain, including:

  • Manual therapy – A physical therapist can provide massage or use hot or cold therapy to ease arthritic pain. Massage can help improve circulation which can reduce joint pain.
  • Electrical stimulation – TENS is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation therapy. This type of physical therapy includes pulses of electricity used to target arthritis pain. A physical therapist can place electrodes on the skin over the area of pain. Low amounts of electricity pass through to the joints. This can temporarily relieve arthritis pain.
  • Targeted exercises – A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will increase flexibility and strength. These exercises can also reduce the pain you experience when carrying out daily activities. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, research shows that individuals with arthritis can exercise without making pain worse.
  • Assistive devices – During physical therapy treatment you can also learn how to correctly use devices such as braces, canes, or walkers.
  • Ergonomic modifications – A physical therapist will be able to make suggestions for your home environment that can help ease arthritic pain. These might include mats to stand on in your kitchen, ergonomic chairs, or certain types of mattresses or bedding you can use.

If you’re struggling with arthritis pain, a trained physical therapist can work with you to increase your mobility while decreasing pain.

Begin a holistic treatment plan today – Contact Cedar Hill PT Today!

Even if you are already taking opioids, an individualized physical therapy program may help you reduce your dosage.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with Paul the physical therapist to learn how you can reduce arthritis pain!