Serious topic here. Opioid addiction has quickly become a national crisis in the United States over the past several decades as opioids have been used as a primary treatment for issues such as chronic low back pain, among others. Oregon in particular has been significantly affected by the Opioid Epidemic. According to the Oregon Health Authority, 3 people die every week from opioid overdose. From prescribed medicine.
One of the most commonly treated issues with opioids is chronic low back pain (back pain present for longer than 3 months), which is no surprise given how common low back pain is. The issue? Opioids don’t really work for low back pain. Why go to a treatment that might not even work? At best, you rely on a pill to reduce your pain for months or years. At worst…? Let’s just pick a better path.
Most people are aware of other treatments for chronic back pain, such as surgery, chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga… there’s quite a list. Physical therapy (PT) isn’t the first option for many people, but there’s a good bit of evidence that it should be the first choice for chronic low back pain. Not to discredit the other options, but physical therapy is the only service that can identify the cause of the symptoms (weak hips, poor muscle activation, etc.) and actually address those issues. To be clear, there isn’t a pill that is going to fix your back, especially opioids.
The important thing to understand about chronic back pain is that there isn’t a quick fix. Chronic issues require chronic fixes, and that’s what physical therapy can provide. Those other options could be considered as well, but understanding that taking control of your life and identifying what exactly is going to directly fix the underlying issues is the best route for long term success. And that’s the goal of physical therapy.
Don’t go for the quick fix. You wouldn’t use a band aid to fix a bullet wound. Medicine has long searched for the “magic bullet” that can cure all diseases without harming the host. It’s clear that opioids are not that magic bullet, especially for chronic low back pain.
If you’ve found yourself or somebody you know going down that path, back up. Please, don’t become another statistic to the opioid crisis. You have the ability to take control of your pain, and physical therapy can show you how to do that.
If you believe that you or someone you know is at risk for drug addiction, call 1-877-927-8921 to reach the Drug Abuse Hotline for free to reach a trained representative to help you find treatment.
If you experience chronic low back pain and are looking to take control of your symptoms, the answer is clear: Physical therapy is your first choice. The staff at Limitless Physical Therapy in Eugene, Oregon can help you regain your life, get back to what you love, and help you achieve your future without limits.
***The above information, including text, images, and all other materials, is provided for educational purposes only, and not as a replacement or supplement to professional medical advice. Please contact a certified healthcare professional or your primary physician for any personal concerns.