Skip the Drugs for Joint Pain and Try This Instead

physical therapy joint painAlthough it’s convenient to reach for painkillers when your joints hurt, they are linked with harmful side effects. There is a safer way to achieve relief from joint pain, and it involves physical therapy.

Researchers suggest that early physical therapy intervention to treat common pain in the shoulder, back, or knees reduce the need for opioids, which are addictive and can lead to side effects and complications.


The study included nearly 89,000 Americans. The researchers found participants who received physical therapy were seven to 16 percent less likely to use opioids. They suggest that early intervention for pain with physical therapy may help reduce the number of Americans taking harmful opioids. Even among those that went on to use opioids, they tended to use less than those who did not undergo physical therapy.

Lead researcher Dr. Eric Sun explained, “For people dealing with these types of musculoskeletal pain, it may really be worth considering physical therapy – and suggesting that your health care provider give you a referral.”

As mentioned, taking painkillers is more convenient as you don’t need to leave your home and they are fast-acting. But long-term use of painkillers can be quite dangerous and take a negative toll on your health.

Unlike painkillers, physical therapy helps to get to the root of the pain, which can lead to long-term relief whereas painkillers offer temporary relief.

There is a growing problem in the US with opioid abuse. In light of this, many doctors are now offering alternative remedies for joint pain before prescribing painkillers.


Other remedies and treatments for pain include acupuncture, strength training exercises for the specific affected area, or nerve ablation where controlled heat is used to disable nerves that are causing pain temporarily.

The best solution to treat pain is to get to the source of it, which medications do not do. Speak to your doctor about options that are available to help you obtain better relief from pain.

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Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.


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