Chronic pain presents a unique challenge to the ever-evolving healthcare field. Pain itself is a very common complaint of many patients, especially those seen and evaluated by a physical therapist. Chronic, or persistent pain, is defined as pain that is present for 3 months or longer. According to recent reports, it is estimated that 75-100 million Americans are affected by chronic pain, and chronic pain accounts for over $100 billion dollars in direct and indirect costs.
The Opiod Epidemic:
In addition to the burden chronic pain places on the healthcare field and economy, there is also the concern of a growing opioid epidemic. Between the years of 1999-2010 the sales of opioid analgesics quadrupled. Twelve percent of all prescribed medications are analgesics and it is estimated that there is one death every thirty-six minutes due to opioid abuse.
Many Americans suffering from chronic pain will seek help from a primary care provider in a variety of clinical settings. With pain accounting for nearly twenty percent of all outpatient visits, it is no wonder that many of these patients will seek the help of a physical therapist.
The Unique Opportunity
According to the 2016 Medscape Physician Compensation Report, physicians spend an average of 13-16 minutes to spend with each patient. Depending on the setting, physical therapists spend anywhere from 30-60 minutes with each patient. This amount of time gives physical therapists a unique opportunity as face-to-face interaction between physician and patient continues to decline. In the treatment of patients with chronic pain, this increased interaction time is vital in being able to address the possible multifactorial causes underlying the development and continuity of chronic pain.
A New Standard at Physical Dimensions
At Physical Dimensions Integrative Health Group, all of our appointments are one-on-one for 45 minutes with a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. Our therapists have extensive experience as well as post-doctoral training in the fields of orthopedics, sports medicine, fitness, manual therapy, blood flow restriction (BFR training), dry needling, and plenty of other treatment methods and tools to help you overcome pain and dysfunction.
Above all else, we are here to listen to each client’s unique story and goals in order to provide compassionate, holistic, and the highest quality of care.
Dr. Ryan Haskins is a physical therapist at Physical Dimensions.