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"How Physical Therapy May Help Reduce Opioid Use" -Kelly Burch

  • The Fix
  • New York, NY
  • (December 19, 2018)

Getting physical therapy early on may help pain patients reduce their long-term opioid use by about 10 percent, according to research published this week in the journal JAMA Open Network. Researchers reviewed the insurance claims of 88,985 patients with shoulder, knee or low back pain. They found that using physical therapy, as recommended by best practices, is associated with reduced opioid use. Since long-term opioid use can lead to dependence and addiction, physical therapy could potentially help reduce those conditions. Houman Danesh, MD, the director of the division of integrative pain management at the Mount Sinai Hospital, said this study shows how important physical therapy can be in long-term pain relief. “You can take an opioid for a month, but if you don’t get the underlying issue for the pain, you’ll go back to where you started,” he said, who wasn’t involved with the study.

— Houman Danesh, MD, Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine, Rehabilitation & Human Performance, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Division of Integrative Pain Management, The Mount Sinai Hospital

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