Pioneer Memorial

Choose Therapy First - Help Prevent Opioid Misuse and Abuse


Physical Therapy is one of the non-opioid alternative treatments that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released in their guidelines last year.  They continue to urge physicians and other prescribers of opioid pain medications to utilize physical therapy as a safe alternative for pain management in the fight against a national epidemic of opioid misuse and abuse. 

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) launched a public education campaign in 2016, #ChoosePT, in order to raise awareness among patients and prescribers about the benefits of physical therapy.  This campaign is to remind patients and their physicians/providers that physical therapy is a good alternative to pain medications and is preferred in many cases over prescription pain medications that have potential side effects which include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms.  Joseph Brence, DPT and spokesperson for the APTA’s #ChoosePT campaign states, “Opioids come with numerous serious side effects and only mask the sensation of pain.  By contrast, physical therapists treat pain through movement. They also play a key role in the crucial patient education process, reduce or eliminate the need for opioids by improving physical function, increasing range of motion and decreasing pain.”

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants treat patients of all ages and abilities and look at the entire patient and their abilities and difficulties while setting up an individualized treatment plan.  The CDC guidelines point out that “high-quality evidence” supports exercise as part of a physical therapy treatment plan for the treatment of back pain, hip or knee osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia to name a few.  These conditions affect millions of Americans who suffer daily from chronic pain. 

For more information you can go to the #ChoosePT campaign website, for facts about pain and the opioid epidemic, and tips for avoiding chronic pain.  If you or a loved one is having chronic pain and have questions about how physical therapy can help you, please feel free to contact your local therapists at Pioneer Memorial Hospital and Health Services in Viborg, SD. 

Our team of therapists include; Robin R. Stockland, PT, MSAS/Director of Rehab, Amanda Marts, MSPT, Kristeen Kingsbury, DPT and Nichole Meyer, PTA.  You can reach our team at 605-326-3009 to ask a question or to set up an appointment.  If your provider does not suggest physical therapy as an option for you, please ask about physical therapy orders so we can help you improve your quality of life.  We look forward to working with you and helping you to improve your mobility and decrease your pain!  Remember, Choose Therapy First!   

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