‘PT over Pills’; national campaign gains traction as opioid overdoses skyrocket post-pandemic

Experts saying a major contributor to this uptick are people dealing with long term COVID-19 effects.

JOHNSTON, RI. (WLNE)- ‘PT over Pills’.

It’s a slogan gaining popularity in the urgent movement across the country to promote healing with physical therapy over opioids… as drug overdoses and deaths reach an all-time high— locally and nationally.

One local practice called Pappas Physical Therapy in Johnston is now joining in on the widespread push to convince patients to heal in the best way, for themselves both short-term and long-term.

A major contributor to these staggering numbers are people now dealing with long-term COVID-19 effects without actively having the virus. They’re now being called ‘COVID long-haulers’.

Experts say there are over 9.6 million Americans who are now dealing with these after-effects; with problems such as muscle pain, bone pain, respiratory issues, and posture problems.

“The CDC has released studies that show early physical therapy after muscular Skeletor injuries can dramatically reduce the risk of opioid dependency… it can also shorten the amount of time until you are more functional,” Dan Macera, a Physical Therapist at Pappas OPT says.

Macera says they have seen a dramatic spike in patients recently; especially for those seeking help for injuries that are in some way related to the pandemic.

The most common injury he says his practice is now treating, are back and neck injuries. The thought is… during the pandemic months, many people spent more time inside, or working from home possibly with inadequate set-ups that strained their muscles over time.

“We’re seeing a lot of patients who were scheduled for these orthopedic surgeries which are pretty routi

ne, but they got delayed {from the pandemic},” Macera says.

The worry from physical therapists across the nation is that as the number of ‘COVID long-haulers’ rises… so will the staggering opioid numbers across the nation.

For more information on the opioid epidemic please click here.

For more information on Pappas Physical Therapy and their mission, please click here.


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