A new study shows that people who get prompt physical therapy as part of their treatment for musculoskeletal issues are up to nearly 20 percent less likely to have to rely on opioid medications in dealing with pain.

According to a December 2018 report by United Press International (UPI), researchers from Stanford University conducted a study with more than 89,000 U.S. patients, all of whom suffered from various types of musculoskeletal pain. This is often due to either accidental injuries or chronic conditions and includes:

  • Soft tissue injuries, such as muscle, tendon, or ligament strains, sprains, and tears;
  • Bone pain, such as is common in cancer patients and others with serious diseases;
  • Nerve pain and discomfort, which can cause tingling sensations and weakness in the arms, legs, or hands;
  • Joint discomfort and stiffness, which often occurs due to inflammation and may accompany conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Researchers found that, in addition to receiving prompt medical treatment, those who were encouraged by their medical providers to begin physical therapy immediately after a procedure; as a way of dealing with the pain; were far less likely than others to develop an unhealthy dependence on potentially dangerous opioid medications.

Dr. Eric Sun, a lead researcher with the study and professor of anesthesiology, preoperative and pain medicine at Stanford University; offered his opinion.  “For people dealing with these types of musculoskeletal pain, it may really be worth considering physical therapy; suggesting that your healthcare provider give you a referral.”

According to Dr. Kris Parchuri, an orthopedic doctor at Spine & Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa, physical therapy plays a key role in restoring their patients to pain free living and good health. “We offer a variety of both surgical and non-surgical options for patients who are dealing with pain; as the result of different chronic conditions. Or due to overuse and injuries,” says Parchuri. “In many of these cases, physical therapy is recommended immediately after a procedure; with the goal of increasing strength and endurance, while improving flexibility.” By coordinating physical therapy and lifestyle changes, Parchuri states that patients can achieve freedom from discomfort. All while avoiding dangerous and highly addictive opioid pain medications.

Contact us, or call us today at (918) 286-3124 begin the journey on living pain-free.