With millions of people experiencing some form of pain, educating the public about alternative treatments is the responsibility of the medical and healthcare community.  New reports continue to come out about abuse and overutilization of opioid drugs, unfortunately amongst all socioeconomic levels across the United States. 

Opioids that have been commonly abused are OxyContin, Hydrocodone-acetaminophin, Oxycodone-acetaminophin, and Fentanyl. 

It is alarming that in 2015, one in three Medicare beneficiaries received some form of opioid prescription.  In other words, approximately 4 million Medicare beneficiaries received an opioid drug, costing Medicare Part D over $4 billion dollars. 

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In another alarming statistic, for the beneficiaries that commonly abuse prescription opioid drugs, each received an average of 5 prescriptions per year. 

Even more troublesome is the use of opioid drugs without a prescription, or for non-medical use. 

Rather than prescription medication, we need to teach the public about alternative treatments for pain, such as physical therapy and massage therapy.  Pain can be caused by a chemical problem within our bodies or a biomechanical problem.  A chemical problem, such as an infection or inflammation will resolve with a chemical solution, such as prescription medication. 

However, a biomechanical problem, such as a hypomobile or stiff joint, tight muscles, or weak muscles will resolve with biomechanical solutions.  Biomechanical solutions include joint manipulation, stretching and therapeutic exercises.  

With opioid drug abuse on the rise and often not solving the problem, consider seeking alternative methods of finding the cause of your pain and let’s fix the problem together rather than mask it. 

Come see your local physical therapist at Cornerstone Physical Therapy Health and Wellness Center, conveniently located at 77 Brant Avenue, Suite 101, in Clark, NJ.  We are open 6 days per week, and accept all insurances.