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Jackson: Benefits of physical therapy when overcoming opioid abuse


In the journey to overcoming opioid abuse, many treatment facilities often prioritize addressing the mental aspects of addiction. However, incorporating physical therapy proves to be an invaluable approach in tackling the underlying causes of addiction. By directly addressing ailments such as back pain or shoulder injuries, physical therapy targets the root issues that individuals often attempt to mask with opioids. To gain insight into the benefits of physical therapy in aiding those overcoming opioid abuse, let’s explore three key ways it is utilized in treatment.

Physiological effects of opioid addiction

Long-term opioid use often leads to various health complications such as muscle stiffness, weakness, atrophy and chronic pain. Individuals in recovery from opioid addiction typically experience decreased mobility and overall physical impairment. Through tailored physical therapy programs encompassing targeted exercises, therapists can effectively address these underlying physical issues. By focusing on the physiological aspects of addiction, individuals can reclaim control over their bodies and resume an active lifestyle that opioids had previously hindered.

Helps manage withdrawal symptoms

The withdrawal phase is often the most challenging aspect of recovery from opioid addiction, characterized by symptoms of nausea, insomnia, muscle aches and anxiety. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in assisting individuals through this phase by imparting techniques to manage these symptoms.

Physical exertion stimulates the release of endorphins and endogenous opioids, which helps alleviate withdrawal discomfort and uplifts mood. Additionally, complementary physical therapy modalities such as massage therapy, deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques further contribute to reducing anxiety levels.

By equipping individuals with tools to navigate withdrawal symptoms, physical therapy provides a comforting pathway to recovery without resorting to drugs as a coping mechanism.

Builds a positive mind-body connection

Recovery from opioid addiction entails not only physical healing but also psychological restoration. Physical therapy offers individuals an avenue to foster a deeper connection between mind and body. Practices like yoga and tai chi incorporated into physical therapy sessions promote body-awareness and aid in stress and anxiety reduction throughout the recovery process. By integrating mind-body connection practices into treatment, individuals in recovery can actively engage in their journey toward opioid-free living and experience improved mental health and overall well-being.

Physical therapy serves as a multifaceted tool for individuals recovering from opioid-use disorders, transcending mere pain management. Recognizing and addressing the root causes of addiction is crucial for successful recovery, and physical therapy stands as a proven method to facilitate this process, guiding individuals along the path to sustained healing and long-term success.

Recovia, https://www.recovia.com/, is an outpatient treatment facility with multiple locations in Phoenix, Tucson, and Virtual Care.