Anne Swisher, a professor of medicine at West Virginia University, works through physiotherapy to address opioid misuse in unconventional ways. She and her colleagues have stepped up their physiotherapy instruction at WVU to emphasize the role of the profession in the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders.
Swisher, a researcher and scholarship director in the Department of Physical Therapy, said:
“Whatever their passion, they make a difference by preventing people from starting the opioid path, minimizing painkillers, performing exercise interventions, or helping them. There are ways in which it can be born. People in the process of recovery will be generally healthy. “
Swisher and her team devised a model to show physiotherapy student doctors that all important curriculum topics (women’s health, pediatric care, sports therapy, etc.) can address opioid use disorders in a variety of ways. Did.
Their model is innovative because it goes beyond musculoskeletal problems and deals with how physiotherapists can help people throughout their lives, from newborns to hospice settings. It also shows how physiotherapists can help improve human movements across what Swisher calls the “total addiction spectrum.”
“In our curriculum, students learn about all of these different aspects-what to do with seriously ill people, proper development milestones for children, ways to help older people stay active-but It was really a connection issue, all together, “she said.
For example, a physiotherapist can help pregnant women prevent neonatal withdrawal syndrome by helping them manage pain and pain without opioids. Combining special exercise with pharmacological treatment can reduce opioid use in patients after spinal surgery. And by promoting healthy physical activity in general, it can support people recovering from opioid use disorders.
“I think we’re going back to movement. One of the catchphrases we want to use is” movement is a joint lotion. ” And we know that regular physical activity releases the body’s own opioid chemicals. It’s the so-called “runner’s high” that makes us feel good. Physical therapists can work with people to overcome barriers to more physical activity. “
What are some of those barriers? Well, that’s not the case. Overweight patients may find it difficult to move because of knee pain. Patients who have recovered from hip surgery are very afraid of exercise pain and avoid trying it. And new moms have a hard time caring for their babies, and just walking around the blocks can be a daunting task.
“Pain is always a perception,” Swisher said. “It is always influenced by your own experience, your motivation. If you tattoo to celebrate something monumental, you are causing tissue damage, but you accidentally put your hand on the stove It doesn’t feel as painful as it does. We re-educate our students and our colleagues to understand that the whole context is painful. “
As explained in the article, she and her team also incorporated the model into the clinical rotation that DPT students complete in the Appalachia community. As part of the rotation, students select topics and develop them into educational programs for specific populations within the community. They investigate issues specific to the community and consider them when designing their programs.
“So you get a small group of students who love women’s health,” Swisher said. “Maybe they develop an exercise program for women who have babies who may have chronic pelvic pain.”
All programs are stored electronically, allowing students to rotate, access each other’s programs, and work with their clinical supervisors to tailor the programs to the community providing the service. I will.
“When we look at healthcare providers of all kinds entering these rural communities that are truly addicted, you may want people to escape some pain, their psychosocial and emotional. I think we have to look at the physical reasons, whether it is physical pain or whether it becomes more emotional pain. ” “We must consider how we as physiotherapists interact with people as complex, biopsychosocial individuals.”
The complex biopsychosocial individuals who call Appalachia their hometown are disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis. The Appalachian Mountains are more likely to die earlier than people living elsewhere in the United States, and opioid-related deaths are the main reason for this disparity, the Appalachian Regional Commission reports.
West Virginia in particular has been hit hard. In 2018, the state had the highest opioid-related overdose mortality rate in the country, according to the National Institutes of Health. That same year, state health care providers wrote 69.3 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people in West Virginia. National average? Just 51.4.
“There are huge problems here in Appalachia, especially in rural areas,” so it is important to have the next generation of physiotherapists to deal with opioid use disorders.
“If you are a physiotherapist, you do not need a special certification of opioid recovery to affect the entire range of this addiction. You just do what you do as a physiotherapist in your area,” Swisher concludes. I attached it. (ANI)
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