No one wants to live in pain. But no one should put their health at risk in an effort to be pain free.

Since 1999, Americans have increasingly been prescribed opioids—painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, Opana, and methodone, and combination drugs like Percocet.  America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Consider that in 2012 alone, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication, enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills.

In some situations, dosed appropriately, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment. However, opioid risks include depression, overdose, and addiction, plus withdrawal symptoms when stopping use. And people addicted to prescription opioids are 40 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging health care providers to reduce the use of opioids in favor of safe alternatives like physical therapy. Physical therapists treat pain and improve function through movement and exercise without the risky side effects of opioids. A physical therapist’s individualized, hands-on approach engages the patient, making her or him an active participant in her or his own recovery.

Choose physical therapy to manage your pain without the risks and side effects of opioids.

Don’t just mask the pain. Treat it. #ChoosePT