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Dear Friends,
The British Journal for Clinical Pharmacology recently stated, " The beneficial effects of regular exercise for the promotion of health and cure of diseases have been clearly shown. In review, we would like to postulate the idea that exercise can be considered as a drug. Exercises cause a myriad of beneficial effects for health, including promotion of health and life span...."
I have heard over the years from patients, physicians, and friends alike, as I try to educate them on the importance of exercise, that I am only talking the talk because I am a physical therapist. With no hesitation they let me know that if I wasn't, I wouldn't be pushing the exercise solution.This response is a bit disturbing. Yes, it does help that I am a person in the field that happens to promote healthy solutions to a stronger everyday lifestyle, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yes, it is my passion and yes, I do read and study this area as much as possible because I believe so strongly in it! That said, I have been blessed to be in a field that promotes healthy living in every way. I believe in a lifestyle of as much balance as possible in our physical, emotional and spiritual areas. So, if this is my vocation (which is more than a job in my book) so be it! I do like the quote above, from the group that makes their living through educating people on proper medication needs. Isn't it interesting that they too are promoting the importance of exercise?
As a society we are relying far too heavily on prescription drugs. As a society, at times, we are looking for an easy fix for pain as well as innumerable ailments. Exercise does require more of an effort than taking a drug, but are all the medications you're taking helping you to live a longer and more beneficial life? Are the drug companies always thinking about the good of your lifestyle? Let's look at a few numbers that I would like to bring to your attention. In 2013, we (in the USA) spent 263 billion dollars on drugs for our health. We have all heard the story that the cost of our medication is high because the drug companies spend so much on research and development. I have bought into this fixed idea but unfortunately this fixed idea is not true! Most drug companies are spending 14% of their sales on research and development and 28% on marketing and promotion. Therefore, if the drug companies sold 263 billion in 2015, they spent approximately 37 billion on research and 74 billion on marketing their drugs and medication. Did you notice the amount spent on marketing? This would leave 152 billion left for profit and/or other expenses. Isn't there some way we can reduce the cost of the medications we actually need? I know personally, that my cholesterol medication is extremely expensive and I know many patients struggling to pay for the medications they truly do need.
If you are beginning to get a bit confused with my message, I can understand! The message I had hoped to convey in this months e newsletter is twofold. The first: Exercise is necessary and even the experts who believe in the importance of prescribing the correct medication for us, have studied and believe this to be so. The second: We need to figure out a way to help reduce the costs of medication.  I think we can all agree our medication bills are going through the roof. Many of our patients can't afford the medication they do need, let alone the medication they don't. We must find a way to reduce medication costs so we can afford the medications that truly are necessary. Part of the way this can be done is to start exercising more often. And by exercising, I mean educated exercise, as I believe that each of us needs direction. Why? Because many of us don't know where to begin and usually begin by exercising or doing activities too aggressively. We then have pain, and stop all activity, believing we need to rest. When we rest, we stop. When we stop we may turn to medications and this my friends is the wrong message and could be alleviated by us giving you the proper and personalized exercise program that fits YOU! 
Please take control of your life and challenge all of us in the medical field. Make sure, you need all the medication you are presently taking. Make sure you begin some kind of exercise activity or program to help you get stronger and healthier everyday!


Health Information

CDC Recommends Physical Therapy and Other Nondrug
Options for Chronic Pain

With overuse of opioids for the treatment of chronic pain becoming a national public health epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines that recommend nondrug approaches such as physical therapy over long-term or high-dosage use of addictive prescription painkillers.

"Nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain," the guidelines state (" CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain - United States, 2016" - March 15, 2016). "Clinicians should consider opioid therapy only if expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to the patient. If opioids are used, they should be combined with nonpharmacologic therapy and nonopioid pharmacologic therapy, as appropriate."

While there are certain conditions - including cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care - where opioid prescription for chronic pain may be appropriate, the CDC cited numerous cases where opioid use could be significantly reduced or avoided altogether.

"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," the guidelines state. "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."

Physical therapists partner with patients, their families, and other health care professionals to manage pain, often reducing or eliminating the need for opioids. Research has shown that a simple education session with a physical therapist can lead to improved function, range of motion, and decreased pain.

Before you agree to a prescription for opioids,
ask if physical therapy might be right for you!


MPT News & Happenings
Stop by the MPT table- we will have a PT on-site to answer questions.
May 15th
Questions about the services we offer? Wonder what training our PT's have?
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Fran's Favorite Quotes
"Become Someone You Can Respect"



"Favorite Physical Therapy"
McDonald Physical Therapy


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