Pain is a leading trigger for addictive disorders and diminished quality of life for many people. While pain has been positioned as a leading cause of addiction in recent media coverage of the opioid overdose epidemic, it is a factor in addiction for people of all ages. Unaddressed physical pain can lead people to overuse pain medications — including prescribed opioids — and eventually, cause people to become dependent upon medications. As many pain patients who are prescribed opioids come to discover, long-term use of opioid pain medications may worsen pain symptoms — a condition called opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Through proper diagnosis and treatment, many pain conditions — the cause of the perceived need to self-medicate — can be reduced or eliminated.
Futures incorporates specialized physical therapy into its addiction treatment programming. All Futures patients receive a musculoskeletal exam and consultation from experienced licensed physical therapists trained to identify potential pain sources and provide individualized treatment plan. At Futures, we believe that “movement is medicine” and that learning how to exercise properly can reduce pain, strengthen the body, improve posture and self-image, and restore a sense of wellbeing.
Futures was among the first addiction treatment programs to incorporate full-time physical therapy programming. Physical therapy was introduced when many of the patients masked pain through excessive use of opioid analgesics. The program was offered to all patients when its positive outcomes were found to improve overall patient wellbeing. Many Futures patients continue using the physical therapy exercises, and approaches learned at Futures after leaving treatment to maintain a healthy lifestyle as an integral part of their road to recovery.