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Marias Medical Center’s physical therapists include, from back left, Debbie Matheson, PTA, Gwen Heaton, PT, and Jennie Gruber, MPT, OCS, LMT; front row, from left, Laura Mehta, Physical/Occupational Therapy clerk, Darcy McAllister, OTR/L Director of Rehabilitation Services and Occupational Therapy and Heidi Forbes, PTA.

“At MMC Rehabilitation Services, we have a great relationship with our referring providers. We work as a team to decrease our patients’ need for strong pain medication,” states Jennie Gruber, Physical Therapist at MMC. 

While prescription opioid pain medications are necessary in some instances, they cannot always address the underlying issue causing pain, and can lead to adverse effects and physical dependence (meaning you have withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped).   

The CDC states that “nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain,” and also states that if opioids are used, they should be combined with nonpharmacologic (non-medication) therapy, as appropriate.  Non-medication alternatives include physical therapy, which has been shown to reduce pain and improve function in a variety of medical conditions.

The CDC encourages patients to “choose PT” as a possible alternative to surgery for some cases of knee osteoarthritis, meniscal tears, and rotator cuff tears.  

As always, consult your physician before making a treatment decision. The American Physical Therapy Association promotes a 4-part approach to pain management including: exercise, hands-on (manual) therapy, education, and teamwork. 

Physical therapists partner with patients, their families, and their healthcare team to manage pain based on a patient-specific treatment plan, often reducing or eliminating the need for opioids, and are trained to recognize other health issues.

October is National Physical Therapy Month. Now is a great time to share with those you know the benefits of physical therapy. The therapists at MMC are here to help. 

See your doctor and get a prescription for physical therapy, not pills.

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