This month PT Professionals are focused on informing the nation about the risks of opioid use and why physical therapy is a safe alternative for managing pain. Although opioids are appropriate for some situations, in the adult population we know that opiates are largely ineffective for back pain, the use of opioids increases the risk of depression, and there has been an increase in prescription opioid use. (In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million opioid prescriptions, enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle of pills.)

The opioid prescription is often used to manage pain in children who have cancer, who have undergone a surgical procedure, or who have suffered from trauma. There is a time and a place for the use of opioids to manage pain in the life of a child, however when the pain becomes chronic, it is time to phase out the use of this medication. 

As a parent, you may be wondering how do I know if my child is in pain if he or she is not good at verbally expressing things or is not yet verbally speaking. The following are some non-verbal signs that your child may be in pain:
-Increased fatigue during the day (due to poor sleeping at night)
-Decreased appetite
-Decreased interest in things they are generally interested in
-Problems with attention (at home or school)

#ChoosePT is a campaign aimed at informing individuals that physical therapy is an alternative to opioid use and an effective way to treat pain. As a Physical Therapist, I often treat and manage pain using several interventions including exercise, passive therapy, cognitive behavioral therapies, pain education, and pain coping strategies. 
As a parent, YOU have a CHOICE about the type of treatment you and your child may receive. Before accepting a prescription for opioids, talk to your healthcare provider about the risks of opioid use and safer alternatives. 

#ChoosePT as a safe and alternative way to manage pain!

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