According to recently released results from the Opioid Abuse Prevention Survey conducted by Clinicient Inc, a majority of musculoskeletal pain patients are not being immediately referred to receive physical therapy.
This is despite the suggested correlation between early physical therapy for pain and decreased opioid addiction.
In addition, according to the survey of 140 physical therapists with practices throughout the United States, a majority of patients are still being prescribed opioids as a primary and often ongoing treatment course, per a media release from Clinicient.
According to the survey respondents, the release notes, 55% shared that more than 50% of their patients with chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 12 weeks) are still being prescribed opioids; 59% disclosed over 30 days typically pass between when their patients report musculoskeletal pain to their primary care provider and when they are referred to physical therapy; and 32% revealed over 45 days typically pass between when their patients report musculoskeletal pain to their primary care provider and when they are referred to physical therapy.
“When a patient is suffering from MSK pain, physicians have a few typical courses of action: recommend rest and anti-inflammatory medications, consider invasive procedures like injections, refer to surgical specialists, and/or prescribe opioids. Unfortunately, the latter is frequently selected, contributing to an opioid epidemic that has been called the worst drug crisis in the Nation’s history,” says Jerry Henderson, PT, vice president of Therapist Success at Clinicient, in the release.
“We appreciate this is only a glimpse into the national pain picture, but it shows us that there is still work needed to shift healthcare away from a ‘prescribe drugs first’ mind-set. Clinicient fully supports the timely intervention of physical therapy to ensure patients are on the correct treatment path,” he adds.
[Source(s): Clinicient Inc, PR Newswire]