Your Thoughts On Opioids

April 13, 2016
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?

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