Unless you are sleeping under a rock, you have heard of the opioid abuse for chronic pain. In our country it has become an epidemic and a health crisis. States like Vermont have gone into a state of emergency by the governor because of the opioid crisis. With a lot of patients using this course of treatment, the benefits don’t outweigh the negative effects. Now there are situations where opioid use may be necessary, such as cancer and end of life conditions. However, the Center for Disease control is now recommending alternatives for pain management whenever possible. Physical therapy is one of them. The CDC guidelines state: “The contextual evidence review found that many nonpharmacologic therapies, including physical therapy, weight loss for knee osteoarthritis, psychological therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), and certain interventional procedures can ameliorate chronic pain. There is high-quality evidence that exercise therapy (a prominent modality in physical therapy) for hip or knee osteoarthritis reduces pain and improves function immediately after treatment and that the improvements are sustained for at least 2-6 months. Previous guidelines have strongly recommended aerobic, aquatic, and/or resistance exercises for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. Exercise therapy also can help reduce pain and improve function in low back pain and can improve global well-being and physical function in fibromyalgia.” The side effects of medical drug use include depression, possible overdose and addiction. And the withdrawals of a patient coming off of opioid use can be detrimental. Physical therapists will become your (and your family’s) partner in getting you well. They educate you, give you realistic expectations for recovery and are with you throughout the process. They not only reduce the chronic pain, but strengthen your body (which drugs cannot do) for future better quality of life. Dr. Xin, our physical therapist, has extreme compassion for her patients in pain and will guide you through this process. All our doctors at Breakthrough Wellness Center want to get you out of pain. And being pain free is what life is all about.