December 5, 2017 | Net Health

3 Minute Read

#ChoosePT: Living an Active Life Without Pain Medication

Net Health and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) agree that it’s time to #ChoosePT.

There’s nothing we love more than to hear that a patient had a healing experience in PT. The candid story shared here, between a once reluctant client and his physical therapist, is inspiring and makes our team proud to support the critical work rehab therapists do every day for people that #ChoosePT over medication for pain management. Learn more about how ReDoc supports therapists like Dr. Eubanks. 

APTA launched the #ChoosePT campaign under their web-directive, encouraging their followers to choose physical therapy over opioids for pain management. Our stories have received attention from DMOFF, GDUSA Health + Wellness Design, Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival, The Creative Industries Network, and The Lift-Off Sessions.

Interested in more PT success stories? Watch more here:

Patients should #ChoosePT when… (Greg Todd and Michael Anastasas of Renewal Rehabilitation gathered a group of real patients to share how PT helped them avoid, or eliminate, the need for pain medications.)

#ChoosePT: Choosing Physical Therapy for Safe Pain Management (We spoke with Physical Therapist Pat Sheehy, MS, PT from Cranberry Township, PA about how hands-on pain management supports a healthier population.) View Video Transcript

August 28th, 2016, I was in a motorcycle wreck and they life flighted me to,. I get emotional.

Yeah. Yeah. Take your time.

I don’t know if I can.

That’s all right. Let’s talk about like, when you’re in the hospital, let’s start from there. Where they prescribed you pain medicine and then tell us about your feelings about pain meds.

Yeah. When I was in the hospital, they offered me pain medication. Well I took it one time and I had a really bad experience. I was hallucinating and everything like that. After that experience with the pain medicine, I opted not to have any pain medicine. I had 11 or 12 operations, and the pain was unbearable on it. And my doctor prescribed me a prescription for physical therapy, which I thought was BS.

One of the main goals of a physical therapist is to provide an alternative for a patient to return to an active, healthy lifestyle, without having to rely on pain medication or have surgery.

The next morning, I said, “Well, I’m going up there and see him,” because I knew what building was in. And I asked him if he was taking any new patients. And he said, “Yes”. I asked him, I was given a prescription on what I needed. He said, “Can you start today?”

Patients have a greater chance of successfully decreasing their pain the quicker they start treatment. So physical therapy provides them a quicker alternative to start treatment and a greater chance to decrease their pain without having to rely on pain medication.

My pain level when I walked through the door, it was eight or a nine some days. Some days, I mean it hurt where I couldn’t even put my foot on the ground. And over the six or eight weeks I’ve been coming here, I mean, my pain level is between two and three now. I mean, it helped tremendously with the pain. If somebody offered me pain medicine today, I would not take it. To me, it’s just a crutch to go on to something worse and just due to physical therapy, it lessens the pain tremendously.

I feel it’s very important to educate the community on what a physical therapist actually does. What kind of positive impact that they can make on a patient.

The physical therapy really works and I was one that did not believe in physical therapy.

You really think he’s going to be running again soon?

He will be running again soon.

I’ve been doing physical therapy for about nine months for my injury on my leg. I didn’t think it was going to work like it does, but after the nine months of being here, it’s helped tremendously.

Dean truly is a Testament of what hard work and a great work ethic can bring you. Physical therapy has provided him a great alternative to pain medication and has allowed him to return to full weight bearing at this point. He’s been able to progress off of his crutches non-weight bearing to then to a single point cane and currently he’s been able to progress off of his cane.

Before my accident, I would fish, I would hunt, I would ride quads, motorcycles, but after the accident, I thought that’d be all over. But now we’re outside. We’re going on to side by side with the grandkids, we’re going on the quad with the grandkids, we’re having a ball with them. Eventually I want to run with them.

So as Dean has progressed with his weight bearing tolerance, we’ve been able to progress him from exercises involving weight through both of his legs, other hip strengthening exercises involving standing. Currently we’ve been able to progress to single leg balance exercises, single leg strengthening exercises, which really help improve his balance, but also target his hip musculature, which will improve his gait and walking without a limp.

If I would have stayed with the doctors, did what they wanted me with the pain medicine and everything, I don’t think I would be where I’m at today. I’d be in a different kind of rehab. It’s going to hurt worse when you start. But the long run, it’s going to be so much better than taking pain medicine.

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