Physical Therapy: A Safe Alternative to Opioids for Pain Management

No one wants to live in pain, but no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain free. Doctor-prescribed opioids are appropriate in some cases, but they just mask the pain – and opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. That’s why the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends safer alternatives like physical therapy to manage pain. Physical therapists 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.

 

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Physical Therapy’s Role in Maintaining a Healthy Spine

As we age, regular exercise plays an increasingly prominent role in reducing the risk of developing spine-related problems. For those in or approaching the golden years, it’s important to live an active lifestyle that focuses on healthy posture, function and movement.

It’s normal to experience some functional decline as our bones and intervertebral discs deteriorate over time, but that doesn’t mean that aches, pains and joint stiffness should go unaddressed. And yet, a good portion of senior citizens in the United States are living with spine-associated pain: A European Spine Journal study found that back and neck pain are top complaints among about 20 to 25% of the population over 70 years old.

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Physical Therapy for Psoriatic Arthritis: 6 Things You Should Know

An expert answers common questions about how physical therapy can help people with psoriatic arthritis, and how to get started.

Living with psoriatic arthritis can mean chronic joint pain and swelling, constant fatigue, and a limited range of motion that makes daily activities a challenge. But working with a physical therapist can alleviate some of these symptoms.

Regular exercise helps keep the joints functioning properly. That’s where physical therapy comes in, according to Maura Daly Iversen, doctor of physical therapy, a professor and associate dean of clinical education, rehabilitation, and new initiatives at Northeastern University in Boston.

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Fighting the Fatigue of RA

July 5, 2017 – Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) don’t stop at joint pain and swelling. Most people with RA also experience mental and physical exhaustion, a symptom known as fatigue. Studies show that up to 80% of people with RA have at least some sense of feeling run down, and more than 50% have high levels of fatigue.

Terence Starz, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says the feeling can be described as overwhelming or different from just being tired because it is extreme and seems to come from nowhere. In fact, fatigue may have a greater impact on daily life than pain.

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