Listening Time — 33:07
America is in the grips of an opioid addiction crisis. Much of it is due to over prescribing to treat pain, despite known and dangerous risks including:
- Withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.
Prescribed opioids are appropriate in some cases (such as cancer, end-of-life, and certain acute care situations). However, for most pain, the CDC recommends safer approaches for pain management, such as physical therapy.
Physical therapists Ahmed Rashwan and Eric Chaconas discuss the treatment for opioid addiction. They work within addiction treatment centers to help stabilize patients and educate them about using physical therapy to manage pain. Their goal is to make relapse less likely.
Ahmed Rashwan, PT, DPT, is director of Advanced Therapy and Wellness. The practice focused on treating people with co-occurring musculoskeletal disorders within the addiction recovery setting. He was previously the medical director for the St Louis Cardinals baseball team.
Eric Chaconas, PT, PhD, is an associate professor in the College of Rehabilitative Sciences at the University of St. Augustine. He also is director of education and research for Advanced Therapy and Wellness.