The Violence and Injury Prevention Program reports that in the past decade, Utah has experienced a more than 400 percent increase in deaths related to misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, with an average of 21 Utahns dying as a result of overusing prescription pain medications each month. These medications all fall under the umbrella term “opioids.”
Why are opioids on the rise in Utah?
Opioids can include drugs like morphine, methadone, Buprenorphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. In 2014, 32% of Utah adults aged 18 years and older had been prescribed one of these drugs in the past 12 months, according to Utah Department of Health Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
What is the issue then?
People become addicted to these painkillers and seek out stronger forms of pain medication. One of the biggest risks is that heroin, an illegal substance, is an opioid. Patients can end up being addicted to heroin because of their abuse of legal pain killers.
At RPT, we want to encourage patients to come to us for pain management. Physical therapy is a great, non- addictive way to cope with pain from diseases such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, or neuropathic pain. Our skilled therapists can help you manage pain in a variety of ways including:
- Mobilization of soft tissue and joints to improve pain-free range of motion
- Manual therapy using hands or tools on soft tissue to enhance healing of affected tissue
- Proper prescription of therapeutic exercise to improve strength, stability, and flexibility
- Cryotherapy (ice/cold modalities) to alleviate inflammation and pain
Choose physical therapy over the use of opioids to ease your pain and help us stop the opioid epidemic.