During the past four years, Florida has been one of just a handful of states that have experienced an increase in drug overdose deaths of 40 percent or more—a majority of which are opioid-related. Second to marijuana as the most popular drug in the state, opioid medications like Vicodin and OxyContin and illicit drugs like heroin are the most common drugs used by Floridians.
Opiate Use in Florida
Florida is just one of many states in the nation battling an opioid epidemic, which begs the question: what is contributing to this heightened attraction to the use of opioids? While the answers vary, one of the main reasons is pain relief.
The Danger of Addiction
In 2015, medical providers in Florida wrote nearly 62.8 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people or approximately 12.7 million prescriptions. While there are several different drugs that can be prescribed to treat pain, a little more than 20-percent of patients seeking pain relief will be given an opioid, a name which comes from the original source of opiates, the opium poppy.
Although these prescriptions come with strict dosing instructions, the significant relief of pain and temporary feelings of euphoria that opioid medications provide often lead to the misuse of and addiction to the drug. Specifically, in the greater Fort Lauderdale area of Broward County, deaths related to the non-medical use of prescription opioids like oxycodone have steadily increased since 2013.
Looking for Pain Relief Alternatives for Chronic Lower Back Pain
With Fort Lauderdale and the whole of Florida being no exception to the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, it’s important for those who struggle with pain to understand the alternative treatment options in an effort to curb opioid use. For those who specifically suffer from back pain, which is most commonly treated with prescription opioids, considering physical therapy as a means of treatment can be a lifesaver when it comes to easing symptoms and staying away from addictive prescriptions.
Avoiding Opioids With Physical Therapy
If you live in Fort Lauderdale and struggle with mild to chronic back pain, consider receiving treatment at Clear Choice Physical Therapy. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health found that patients who first saw a physical therapist (PT) for lower back pain were 89.4 percent less likely to receive an opioid prescription, significantly reducing their chances of getting addicted to and abusing the drug.
As if decreasing the risk of opioid misuse isn’t a good enough reason to first receive physical therapy treatments before turning to medication, the study also found that patients who went to PT had substantially lower out-of-pocket costs. They focused more on physical therapy treatments and less on pharmacy visits.
Benefits of Choosing PT Over Prescription Medications
In addition to lower costs and a lower probability of needing an opioid prescription, physical therapy also decreases a patient’s probability of needing costly advanced imaging services by 28-percent and lowers the probability of making one or more visits to the emergency department by 15 percent. All these statistics relate back to one main source—the physical therapists themselves.
At Clear Choice Physical Therapy, founder and physical therapist Erik Bleeker has specialized in and trained specifically to treat lower back pain. This has led to a practice with the advanced knowledge and experience needed to properly identify, treat, and manage pain. Unlike family physicians, a majority of a PT’s training is focused on pain management specific to regions of the musculoskeletal system, like the lower back, which allows them a unique understanding of how pain works and what treatments best ease pain.
Pain Relief for Sciatic Pain and Lower Back Pain
As the leading physiotherapy clinic in the Fort Lauderdale area, Clear Choice Physical Therapy specializes in back pain and sciatica relief and offers a wide range of rehabilitation techniques to treat these symptoms. From chronic lower back pain to pain relief for sciatic ailments, our pain management clinic and highly trained practitioners are prepared to treat all types of pain, injuries, and other issues.
If you’re living with pain, don’t automatically resort to opioid use and further risk your wellbeing. Instead, if you live in Fort Lauderdale, we encourage you to try physical therapy for sciatica and lower back pain at Clear Choice Physical Therapy. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you live a healthy, pain-free life.