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For the past 15 years, Americans in pain have increasingly been prescribed opioids—painkillers that include Vicodin, OxyContin, methadone, and combination drugs like Percocet.

These drugs can be effective over short periods and safe in low doses. But they come with risks, including depression, overdose, addiction, and withdrawal symptoms. The result is a national health crisis that involves not only prescription opioids, but heroin, as well.

There are safer ways to manage pain—among them, physical therapy, which was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as an alternative to opioids. The American Physical Therapy Association, which is partnering with the White House to address the opioid epidemic, has launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of opioids and the effectiveness of physical therapy.

In this episode of Move Forward Radio, campaign spokesman Joseph Brence, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, DAC, discusses pain, opioids, physical therapy, and APTA's safe pain management campaign. Click here to learn more.

Download the podcast on iTunes or listen below:

Joseph Brence, PT (headshot)

Joseph Brence, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, COMT, DAC, is a physical therapist and clinical researcher who treats a wide range of painful conditions including complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. He is currently involved in a wide range of clinical research projects involving understanding the neuromatrix and determining how it applies to physical therapy. He is the vice president of operations for NxtGen Institute of Physical Therapy, manages the blog Forward Thinking PT, and writes monthly research reviews for SportEx Medicine.

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