You may have noticed a trend lately encouraging patients to try physical therapy first for pain – as opposed to prescription drugs.
October is National Physical Therapy Month, and the focus this year is on the American Physical Therapy Association’s national public awareness campaign to let consumers know about the risks of opioid use and that physical therapy is a safe, nonopioid alternative for managing pain.
J. Blake Wagner, director of Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedic’s North Physical Therapy Clinic in Sherwood, says, “I have seen opioid prescription and dependency increase over the years. It is starting to turn around with recent changes in prescribing guidelines and education.”
Since its inception in 1992, National Physical Therapy Month has provided an annual opportunity to recognize and celebrate the transformative power of physical therapy.
Your physical therapist will examine you and develop a plan of care using a variety of treatment techniques that help you move, reduce pain, restore function and prevent disability. Your physical therapist can also help you prevent loss of mobility and motion by developing a fitness- and wellness-oriented program tailored to your specific needs.
“Anyone with musculoskeletal issues or pains with movement are appropriate for therapy,” says Wagner. “The physical therapists at Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics see primarily orthopaedic patients with issues of the joints or muscles anywhere from the neck to the toes.
“Physical therapy is beneficial to address mobility impairments, strength deficits, gait abnormalities, pain control and functional deficits,” he adds. “Physical therapists have specialized training and education to identify abnormal movement patterns and weakness that can predispose a person to injury, in addition to facilitating a patient’s recovery with a structured rehabilitation program.
“Physical therapy offers methods for pain control without medication using various modalities and manual techniques to improve the patient’s quality of life.”
In addition to the Sherwood clinic, Arkansas Specialty Orthopaedics also offers physical therapy through its main Little Rock office. If you are interested in learning more, call (501) 225-0181.