Don’t Join the Opioid Epidemic. How Physiotherapy Can Help Ditch the Pain Meds.

It seems like every time you turn on the news there is another story about the opioid epidemic gripping the country. There is a good reason for panic. In 2016 alone, 116 people died each day from opioid-related drug overdoses. Some 11.5 million Americans misused prescription painkillers in some way, costing an estimated $504 million in economic costs. Some researchers even feel that many people who would otherwise be able to work are sidelined because they would fail a drug test. As mind-blowing as these numbers are, to a person who uses prescription pain medication for pain relief, opioids may seem like the only option. Fortunately, there is another way to manage your pain. Call SOS Physiotherapy today to find out more about how physiotherapy can help you ditch the pain meds for good.

Pain & Opioids

To understand why opioids are so dangerous, you first have to understand how your brain processes pain. Let’s say you bang your knee on the doorjamb. Pain receptors in your skin register that something happened to your knee. Those receptors send signals to your brain and spinal cord. There, your brain processes those signals as pain, and your body produces natural opioids to stop them. These chemicals slow your breathing, create a feeling of well-being and block pain signals so you can return to a pain-free state.

When you have chronic pain, severe injury, surgery or significant trauma, your brain cannot produce enough opioids to keep up with the demand. Prescription medication mimics the chemicals your body naturally produces, relieving pain, but they do not help your body heal.

Physical Therapy: A Natural Treatment

Since opioids mask the pain without treating its underlying cause, many people are choosing to forgo pain meds altogether in favor of a more natural treatment. Fortunately, physiotherapy not only helps relieve pain, but it also addresses what is causing the pain in the first place. A physiotherapist is a highly trained medical professional, but he or she also is an expert in the science of movement. Through advanced diagnostic procedures, your physical therapist can uncover the source of your pain and find ways to address it for long-term health and mobility. Best of all, physiotherapy is a drug-free way to manage chronic pain.

Unintended Benefits of Physiotherapy

A physiotherapist’s job is not only to manage pain, but also to improve function. Your physiotherapy program may include stretches, ultrasound, manual therapies and a combination of ice and heat for pain relief, but it will not stop there. Your physiotherapist will begin to address mobility, flexibility, and strength as they apply to the activities of your daily life. If you are one of the more than 116 million people who struggle with chronic pain, chances are you are also limited in your ability to walk, stand, run, move, work, play and perform daily activities. Physiotherapists address all of these functions and more as they work with you to strengthen your body, improve your balance and stability and enhance your quality of life.

The unintended benefits of physiotherapy don’t stop with the body. They reach your brain as well. Chronic pain and prescription pain medication use can lead to anxiety, depression, and isolation. Working with a physiotherapist gives you a partner in your pain relief journey. This sense of community can help address the mental toll pain takes on a person in a way that opioids cannot.

Don’t join the opioid epidemic. Call our Elmira & Belmont locations physiotherapists today and find out how physiotherapy can help you live a full, pain-free, functional life.


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    Belmont Centre for Physical Medicine
    564 Belmont Avenue West, Suite 301
    Kitchener, Ontario N2M 5N6

    Phone : (519) 743-4355 Fax : (519) 743-6787


    Behind Wellness Centre ( Clock Tower )
    3 Wyatt Street East, Suite 2
    Elmira, Ontario N3B 2H4

    Phone : (519) 669-1212 Fax : (519) 669-0800


    University of Waterloo Student Life Centre
    200 University Avenue West
    Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1

    Phone : (519) 884-0767 Fax : (519) 884-9161