Kansas Physical Therapy Association (KPTA) launches what is reportedly its first-ever anti-opioid campaign, aiming to bring awareness to safer treatments—such as physical therapy—to help manage one’s pain.

Avoiding addiction to pain relief medications starts by not having surgery in the first place when these drugs are prescribed, KPTA notes in a media release.

“According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), one out of four patients taking pain killers after surgeries get addicted to these prescription pain medications,” says Susie Harms, PT and KPTA president, in the release. “It’s sad, especially considering opioids are largely ineffective for chronic pain, which is a complex and recently discovered neurological issue.”

In addition, per the release, research conducted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) suggests that physical therapy is rarely used as a first treatment for pain.

Along with the dangers of opioid addiction following surgery, surgical procedures could cost several times more than the cost of physical therapy, not including the long-term cost from prescriptions, the release continues.

With that in mind, Harms opines that patients should “make surgery an option only after trying conservative measures such as physical therapy. Patients should be presented with non-surgical options first.”

On its website, KPTA offers a self-assessment pain profile that patients can complete and use during their discussions with physicians.

Patients in Kansas do not need a referral from their doctors to see a physical therapist but rather have direct access to physical therapy providers, per the release.

[Source: Kansas Physical Therapy Association]