May is physical therapy month and we are featuring some of the amazing physical therapists who we have had the pleasure of working with. This blog features Dr. Bahram Jam, PT who we have been fortunate to have as one of our guest speakers at our post pre/post hip & knee webinars and the author of the informative article, The Best Opioids Don’t Come in a Bottle But are Found in Small Enjoyable Activities.
In the article, Dr. Bahram discusses the importance of physical activity for chronic pain management and the overprescribed use of opioids which has contributed to an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose and an increase in the number of related deaths. Dr. Bahram suggests an alternative option for individuals in need of relief based on the numerous studies which are emerging against the use of opioids for chronic pain management.
There has been a shift in focus from exogenous opioids to endogenous opioids and to neurotransmitters like enkephalin and endorphins which the central nervous system and pituitary gland produce. Endorphins are essentially morphine-like substances produced by our bodies that reduce both the intensity and unpleasantness of painful stimuli, as studies have shown. Endorphins are triggered by various activities such as aerobic exercise, high-intensity interval training, and core stabilizing exercises which physicians can use as a prescription option to reduce the use of prescription opioids.
Patients who participate in regular physical activity are less likely to develop persistent pain
which is why many healthcare providers are now prescribing daily doses of moderate to high-intensity physical exercise due to their ability to stimulate endogenous opioid production.
It’s not surprising that Dr. Bahram cites Urban Poling as a prescription option for pain because it is a moderate to intense form of aerobic exercise which can be easily added to your daily lifestyle. Whether it’s done in an individual or group setting, it fosters improved mood,
social relationships and a daily dose of laughter which has all been proven to increase the production of those feel-good endorphins!
You can access the full article here: https://www.aptei.ca/wp-content/uploads/opioids-2019.pdf