Pain on x-ray sheets coming out of a pain pill - graphic rendering

Painkillers vs. Physical Therapy: What you need to know

All too many of us know pain. It’s simply one of those things we have to deal with at various points throughout our lives. Unfortunately, a lot of people have to deal with chronic pain. Basically, this means that they experience perpetual, ongoing physical pain from a sports injury or disorder. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, our staff consistently guides patients from regular, chronic pain to pain-free lifestyles. In fact, physical therapy is a natural way for our bodies to heal themselves.

Sadly, some people dealing with pain (or limited mobility) decide to pursue surgical or chemical solutions instead of physical therapy. One of these “solutions” is opioid painkillers. Of course, this decision is inherently much riskier and more dangerous than physical therapy. In this post, we’ll discuss physical therapy versus opioid painkillers when it comes to dealing with pain.


Physical Therapy: How it Heals Pain

Obviously, living with chronic pain is incredibly unpleasant. In fact, those of us fortunate enough to live pain-free lives take for granted how lucky we are that we don’t have to deal with this. In many cases, chronic pain is incredibly debilitating and has a palpable effect on every aspect of chronic pain sufferer’s lives. However, with any kind of physical pain, from shoulder to back pain, it’s critical to understand that healthy pain management is possible.

Physical therapists are, essentially, musculoskeletal experts. The treatments they administer to their patients strengthens and heals the body’s muscles, tendons, bones, joints, ligaments and nerves. Basically, this means they’re experts in holistic pain management and of eradicating the pain at its source.

After a meticulous examination, physical therapists pinpoint the precise impairments that are usually causing the acute or chronic injury. Therefore, they’re able to develop an individual strategy for reaching and mitigating the body’s physical limits. Additionally, this eliminates the need for prescription painkillers, as well as any other unhealthy pain management techniques that do more harm than good.

Opioid Painkillers: A Dangerous Pain Management Technique

Of course, the potential consequences of taking painkillers (or any other controlled substance) should come as no surprise to anyone. Right now, the country is in the midst of an ongoing public health crisis: widespread opioid addiction. This has been a national crisis for almost ten years now, and opioid overdoses have skyrocketed by an astonishing 600% since 2001. Unfortunately, the simple truth is that opiate abuse has reached unprecedented levels, and we still have yet to resolve this issue.

Obviously, many people seek out these medications to cope with pain because they enjoy the intoxication. However, the side effects of regular opioid use range from depression, to overdose, constipation, addiction and withdrawal symptoms when enough time passes between dosages. Their fleeting, short-term reward pales in comparison to the severe risks involved.

Before seeking a prescription for painkillers, always consult a physical therapist first. Should you take the initiative to seriously discuss natural treatments first, you’ll likely be dodging an astoundingly punishing bullet. Countless patients accepted opioid prescriptions based on not having a history of drug abuse. Unfortunately, all too many of these patients wound up in compromising positions, to say the least. Opioid painkillers have the very significant potential not only to inflict physical symptoms, but to completely derail the lives of those taking them.

Ultimately, physical therapy is, by a substantial margin, the superior option.



Above all, we want our patients to be as healthy as possible. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, part of our passion for physical therapy comes from its ability to heal our bodies naturally. With physical therapy, there’s no need to introduce dangerous and destructive substances into your life. Your body can heal itself through individualized stretches and exercises.