It’s National Physical Therapy Month—a recognition that is sponsored by the American Physical Therapy Association or APTA. While many people handle pain with opioids, the use of these drugs can lead to addiction. The use of opioids is on the rise, creating a national health crisis. The number of accidental overdose deaths from prescription pain medications has quadrupled since 1999. Further, it is now estimated that 2.1 million U.S. citizens are addicted to opioids.
Drugs aren’t the only way to deal with pain, though. During National Physical Therapy Month, there’s a push to recognize the merit of physical therapy in relieving pain in a way that is safer and longer lasting than simply relying on pain medications.
There are many benefits of physical therapy:
- It increases mobility and range of motion. These two elements are crucial for driving down the rates of obesity as well as the risk of heart attack, stroke, bone fractures, and arthritis. Improved mobility and motion can also help people improve their balance, reducing the chances for debilitating falls.
- It can help people avoid surgeries and prescription drugs. Many maladies are over-treated. Surgeries are often planned and drugs prescribed for injuries that simply need a thorough round of physical therapy—a far less invasive treatment. In fact, physical therapy has proven to be as efficacious as surgery for certain conditions including meniscal tears and spinal stenosis.
- It allows for a tailor-made recovery. Rather than “one size fits all” drugs or surgeries, physical therapy routines can be tailored exactly to patients’ recovery needs and future physical goals.
While opioid reduction is a major theme of this year’s Physical Therapy month, it’s worth considering themes from past years: prevention of sports injuries, how to battle obesity through fitness, improving balance, improving posture, and managing back pain.
How Walk-In Bathtubs can Help
Washington State Kitchen and Bath, in line with the efforts of the APTA, offers a whole line-up of bathtubs that are specially made for people with pain and motion difficulties. These tubs are compliant with the American Disability Act and help in alleviating pain without the use of drugs. These bathtubs have safety features like non-slip bottoms, safety bars, fast-drain features, non-slip door handles, hand-held shower heads and more. Some of these walk-in bathtubs are equipped with jets with “hydro-massage” for specific parts of the body.