Many, if not all of us have experienced some sort of injury during our lifetime. These injuries can range from a mild ankle sprain or low back strain to fractured bones and torn ligaments / tendons that require surgery. For many of these types of injuries medications such as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and muscle relaxers (Flexeril) will be prescribed by your doctor for pain management. Most physicians may also prescribe a round of physical therapy treatment to restore range of motion, flexibility, and strength to the involved body part which leads to favorable outcomes regarding return to previous functional levels.
However, in today’s fast-paced lifestyles, the thought of committing significant amounts of time with multiple physical therapy sessions can seem like a difficult task compared to just “popping a few pills”. The purpose of this brief discussion is to better explain the benefits of physical therapy vs. taking medication to help manage your aches and pains.
The biggest, and most significant, argument that can be made against long term use of medication is that they are all DRUGS! With that comes side effects to YOUR BODY. In addition, prolonged use of Advil or Aleve can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. Other medications such as Flexeril can make you drowsy and sleepy which can be dangerous when operating heavy equipment such as motor vehicles. Personally, I am not willing to risk my overall health and long-term well-being by using medications for long periods of time to relieve pain!
On the other hand, physical therapy does not offer these same side effects! Instead, it can provide you with long-term solutions for stretching and strengthening your muscles through EXERCISE PRESCRIPTION and healthy habits such as rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). The exercises your highly trained physical therapist (at SOPT) will prescribe increases blood flow, burns calories, and can also provide a better sense of well-being.
In Summary, long term use of medication can have potentially dangerous side effects while physical therapy provides long-term healthy solutions for your pain management. Do not hesitate to call our office today to put you on the path to healthy resolution of YOUR PAIN!