Physical Therapy or Pain Medication: What You Need to Know

Chronic pain can be a vicious cycle. If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain or have recently suffered an injury, you might be considering your options for a rehabilitation method. Both physical therapy and opioids could help relieve your pain, but it’s important to determine which of the two is better. If you want to learn more about this, then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s everything that you need to know about physical therapy and pain medication.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pain Medication

When used correctly and in the correct manner, opioids are a helpful tool in managing pain. The drugs are beneficial, but they aren’t usually recommended as the first choice to relieve chronic pain. Instead, opioids might be considered after trying non-opioid pain medications like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that don’t provide enough relief. Different types of opioids are used to relieve pain of different severities and provide long-term relief of severe chronic pain.

As with any medications, taking opioids has disadvantages and side effects that might make you want to steer clear of them when treating your pain. Here are some common side effects associated with pain medication:

  • Memory issues
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weight gain
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Impaired concentration
  • Confusion
  • Sleep problems

Opioid addiction and abuse are extremely common and easy to fall into, as well. This becomes even more worrisome when you consider that nearly 500,000 people have died from opioid overdose over the last ten years.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Physical Therapy

Physical therapists help patients with pain by finding the root of the problem and providing a plan of action to reduce or eliminate pain problems. Unlike pain medications, physical therapists provide a workout regimen that can eliminate or reduce many pain problems.  Aside from this, physical therapy also allows you to avoid unnecessary surgery and will help individuals manage chronic pain conditions.

Although physical therapy can be highly beneficial for certain conditions, it requires time and effort which can sometimes make medication seem like the better option. Sometimes people also don’t have access to proper physical therapy facilities, which makes it inaccessible for some.

Physical Therapy or Pain Medication?

Although there are clear advantages and disadvantages to both opioids and physical therapy, it is reasonable to treat someone’s pain with both options. To simplify this choice, it’s best to assess your specific situation and see which form of treatment best suits you.

Opioids work by blocking pain sensations while also releasing chemicals that relax your body and decrease your emotional response. However, they do not address the cause of the pain. The pain will usually return with a vengeance soon after the effects of the drug disappear.

For long-term solutions, physical therapy is simply the way to go. Physical therapy addresses the root of the problem and aims to remedy it through constant treatment and therapy sessions.

If you’re looking for Naprapathic therapy near you to help deal with chronic pain, then you’ve come to the right place. Naprapathic Medicine of New Mexico provides the highest quality standard of Naprapathic healthcare.  Make an appointment with top-rated pain management consultants and physicians and manage your pain without drugs. For more information on what we can do for you, visit our website today!