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As our trusted patients know, we prefer using research-based physical therapy to combat joint pain in lieu of medication. For those on pain medication seeking alternative treatments instead of additional cortisone shots or increased dosage, we are here to help you get better (and save money on healthcare too!). That doesn’t mean we are going to ask you to kick all pain killers to the curb. In fact, physical therapy and medications can both be used together safely.
Medication and Physical Therapy
You should be upfront with your provider and physical therapists about your complete health history. It is not required to request a doctor’s note before beginning physical therapy, however, you may want to consult with your provider to see how exercise could impact your medication. As your condition improves, you should again consult with your provider on the best way to adjust or even decrease your prescription. Changing the dosage without consulting a medical practitioner is dangerous for your health.
Prescription Safety 101
The vast majority of patients use prescription drugs as directed with no problem. However, be wary of the warning signs of painkillers overuse, including:
- Poor coordination/confusion
- Increased dose required for pain relief
- Worsening or increased sensitivity to pain
If you notice any of these symptoms, then it may be a sign to change the dosage or type of medication.
Old Prescription Drugs
That leaves the question, what should you do with old medication? Health experts note that many prescription medications do not actually expire per say, although the potency and safety of the drug can waiver over time. It is for this reason that patients must be careful with the way they handle and dispose of medication. Never throw old or expired medication in the garbage. Thrown out medication may be found by others who want to abuse them. In addition, flushing or disposing of medication may harm the water quality or the environment.
The FDA, DEA, and EPA offices say that prescription takeback programs are the best method to dispose of old medication. Most pharmacies accept and dispose of unwanted medication for free. Check to see if your local pharmacy accepts old medication through a certified pharmacy takeback program.
For more on scientifically-backed treatments for pain, schedule a consultation with an i’move physical therapist. Your one-on-one consultation creates a custom treatment program to alleviate or eliminate the true source of chronic pain.