Physiotherapy not codeine for effective treatment of pain

31 January 2018 - for immediate release

 

Physiotherapy is recommended to many patients by their GPs as a safe and effective treatment for pain that does not carry the harmful risks of opioid based drugs such as codeine.


With codeine becoming a prescription only drug from February, a large number of Australians will be seeking alternative ways to manage their pain.


National President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Phil Calvert said, ‘The good news is that physiotherapy is proven to provide effective pain relief, which treats rather than simply masks the underlying cause of pain.’


‘We appreciate that restricting access to codeine may cause anxiety for people who suffer an injury. So we want them to know that physiotherapists help people to manage their pain and recover movement with great success, without the use of addictive drugs.’


Research has shown that the relative level of pain that is experienced by someone can be influenced by a range of factors including their emotions and social environment. This means that pain can be a very complex issue to successfully treat.


‘There is no one size fits all approach in assessing and treating someone’s pain. So physiotherapists are practiced in considering a range of factors that may be contributing to the pain. We’ll talk with patients about their lifestyle goals and introduce an appropriate treatment including exercise programs, joint manipulation and mobilisation,’ said Mr Calvert.


What to expect from a physiotherapy consultation:

  • Your physiotherapist will perform a physical examination and find out more about your history and any other factors that may be contributing to the pain. 
  • In most cases of acute pain (the period in which an injury is expected to heal), the pain will settle as the tissue heals. Your physiotherapist will explain the nature of the injury and normal healing times. They may provide early treatment, but in many cases advice regarding self-management strategies, including gentle exercise, will be enough to help resolve the pain and return you to full function.
  • In situations where the pain has become chronic (generally more than three months - longer than normal healing times), assessment and management may be more complex. Things other than tissue damage may be contributing to your pain, which your physiotherapist will investigate. In complex situations other specialists may also form part of a wider treatment team.
  • At all stages of pain management, physiotherapists will work with you to encourage self-management, remaining active as appropriate and avoiding a reliance on medication.

For more information about physiotherapy and treatment of pain, see www.choose.physio.

 

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact: Julie Dwyer, Communications Manager
T 03 9092 0810 M 0419 176 075  E Julie.Dwyer@physiotherapy.asn.au