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APTA Releases New White Paper

by Andrea Miller | Jul 10, 2018

The APTA has released a new white paper "Beyond Opioids: How Physical Therapy Can Transform Pain Management to Improve Health" which examines the history of the opioid epidemic and the impact it has on everyone. This is a great document to share with colleagues and patients as we tackle the opioid crisis as a nation.

The National Quality Forum (NQF), a leading health care research and advocacy group, recently announced the formation of an Opioid Stewardship Action Team to address the opioid epidemic. The team, which includes representatives from the CDC, the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), among others, has developed what it describes as a “playbook” that will focus on “improving prescribing practices and identifying strategies and tactics for managing care of individuals” at risk of opioid dependence. Other programs also have been launched to help bring the opioid crisis to an end—ranging from an event led by the Academy of Integrative Pain Management called the “Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress” to APTA’s own #ChoosePT opioid awareness campaign, which encourages consumers and prescribers to follow the CDC’s opioid-prescription guidelines.

The take-home message from each of these initiatives is that the opioid epidemic is a complex problem that will be solved only through multidisciplinary collaboration, and that individuals with chronic pain must be offered interventions that not only control pain but also address the causes of pain. The CDC, NQF, and other major health agencies and organizations all have affirmed that nonpharmacological and nonopioid therapy can be effective in managing chronic pain. It’s time for the health care system to look beyond opioids to options such as physical therapist interventions that treat pain and combat chronic pain by addressing its source(s).

Click here for the APTA Opioid White Paper

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