Physiotherapy could help combat B.C.’s opioid crisis: report

A provincial association says physio is a non-pharmaceutical adjunct to prescribed opioids

The Physiotherapy Association of BC says it could be an integral piece of the puzzle in combatting the province’s opioid crisis.

In a report released Tuesday, the association says that for patients who suffer from chronic or acute pain, physiotherapy could be a suitable treatment alternative for management instead of turning to opioid prescriptions.

“At a time when British Columbians are searching for answers to the province’s drug opioid crisis, physio can help,” the report reads.

According to the association, one in five adult Canadians suffer from chronic pain – a ‘multifaceted disorder associated with considerable disability’, and can be a burden to the patient and the health care system.

The report says a 2014 study shows that about 5 per cent of adults who have been prescribed an opioid pain reliever has misused or abused their medication.

In recent months, advocates and policy makers have noted the apparent role prescriptions of opioids play into addiction and the 931 overdose deaths that occurred in 2016 – a steady trend continuing this year.

In an email to Black Press, provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall said, “physio certainly has riles to play in pain management and lowering the need for opioids.”

RELATED: B.C. health officer leads push for European-style heroin treatment programs

Kendall has vocalized the need for alternative treatments for opioid addiction in the past, including prescription heroin.

The association also argues physiotherapy is a more cost-effective strategy for the the province.

Heading into the May 9 election, the association says policy makers should consider the benefit physiotherapists could have in combatting the increase in prescription drug abuse, rising overdoses and the increase costs of prescription drugs.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

Victoria police arrest two people during ‘tweet-a-long’ Strike Force operation

VicPD offering ‘behind the scenes’ look at the operation

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Most Read