Pomerene Hospital Blog

Physical Therapy Assists in Stopping the Opioid & Heroin Epidemic

Pomerene Marketing - Monday, November 07, 2016

Unless you’ve been barricaded underground with no social media devices, you’ve probably heard of, seen, or maybe even witnessed the effects that the opioid and heroin-use epidemic has taken on our country, and state. In fact, Ohio is one of the top ten states with the highest number of drug overdoses and highest amount of opioids being prescribed for pain. Pain is the major factor in the beginning stages of opioid use, and one in four people taking opioids for non-cancer related pain become addicted. Ironically, as the sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled, so has the death toll of opioid overdoses. Those addicted to opioid pain relievers are 40% more likely to be addicted to heroin.1,2


How Can We Stop This Epidemic?

 Your local physical therapy office is a great place to start! The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has joined the White House effort to reduce opioid use and reduce the number of people becoming addicted and seeking more pain-relief in heroin.3 Joesph Brence, PT, DPT is a spokesperson for the #CHOOSEPT campaign and explains that opioids only mask the sensation of pain while threatening many side effects.4 These side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Sedation
  •  Dizziness
  •  Nausea,
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Respiratory depression.

These side effects can lead to small bowel obstructions that may require surgery, dehydration, or even death. In contrast, research shows the side effects of PT include improved range of motion of joints, improved strength, function and release of endorphins which reduces pain and improves mood. Psychological benefits such as taking control of your pain and taking action to improve your life are also very rewarding and self-motivating. The list of PT side-effects goes on!

Through the power of PT, we can get to the root of what’s causing the pain and help to prevent it from occurring, rather than sweeping it under the rug and masking the pain. The APTA recommends consulting with PT before agreeing to prescription opioids.2 At Pomerene Therapy, we treat people that are in pain every day. Within a few visits, our clients are more functional, less painful and leading more fulfilling lives the way they were meant to be living. Schedule an evaluation with Nikki, Sheila, or Karli and get your life back today!

How Pomerene Can Help You

For more information, call 330-674-9066 or visit us here!


1. “7 Staggering Statistics About America’s Opioid Epidemic.” www.moveforwardpt.com. 2016.

2. “Physical Therapy vs Opioids: When to Choose Physical Therapy for Pain management.” www.moveforwardpt.com 2016.

3. News Now Staff. “APTA Joines White House Effort to Reduce Opioid Abuse.” APTA.org. 21 Oct. 2016.

4. News Now Staff. “APTA Launches #ChoosePT Campaign to Battle Opioid Epidemic.” APTA.org. 7 June 2016.


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