By Joseph Reinke, CFA, Founder of FitBUX
In March, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) released new guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. I am not a physical therapist but I have very strong feelings about the use of opioids. At age 17, I hurt my shoulder playing baseball while diving for a ball in the outfield. I was diagnosed with a shoulder impingement and the first thing the doctor did was write a prescription for opioids. Long-story short, I played three more years of sports (baseball and ice hockey) and constant complaints to the doctor about the pain. The solution, more opioids. I finally met a doctor that wanted to send me to a PT that specialized in shoulders. Come to find out, the dive that I hurt myself on was just the tipping point of my injury. For years I had been destroying my shoulder because I did not move it correctly. Instability in my shoulder had caused me to tear my labrum tissue and the dive finished it off. She found this out because I had the same problem in both shoulders, which after three years, she was the first medical professional to even look at my left arm (my non-throwing arm). However, the damage on my right shoulder had grown so bad that I required major surgery to repair it. Masking the pain for three years with opioids only made the problem worse. The result: two surgeries, lost range of motion, loss of strength, and having the difficulty of throwing a ball even 90 feet. So, I'm sure you can guess what my opinion of opioid use is...what's yours?