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The results of a recent consumer survey found that 79% of patients who have undergone surgery would choose a non-opioid option for treatment of pain over opioids. These findings make clear the high level of interest patients have in nonopioid treatment after surgery, despite the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.

The survey (Opioid Addiction and Dependence after Surgery Is Significantly Higher Than Previously Known- June 13, 2016) provides valuable insight into the issue, and suggests more patient education is needed.

The study polled 500 adults in the United States who had orthopedic surgery or soft tissue surgery in June 2016, and was conducted in support of the Plan Against Pain campaign, an effort designed to educate patients about their choices in managing pain following a surgical procedure. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sales of prescription opioids have quadrupled in the United States. In response to the growing epidemic, the CDC released opioid prescribing guidelines in March 2016, urging prescribers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives like physical therapy.

Physical therapists partner with patients, their families, and other health care professionals to manage pain through movement and exercise.

The American Physical Therapy Association launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the risks of long-term use of opioids and the fact that physical therapy is safe alternative pain management. Learn more at our Safe Pain Management page.

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