Weekly Motivation

When You Want to Succeed as Bad as You Want to Breathe, Then You'll Be Successful. (4)

Here’s your weekly motivation for the week! Decide today who you want to be and what future you want for yourself. Whatever you decide, good or bad, is who you’ll become.

Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT


The Opioid Crisis – How PT Can Help

Within the United States, opioid use and opioid-related deaths have reached a staggering rate.

According to the US Health and Human Services, in 2015 alone, 33,091 people died from opioid use and over 12.5 million people misused opioids that were prescribed by their physicians. Furthermore the CDC states that 91 people die everyday from opioid overdose. The numbers are staggering and they continue to climb. The following graphic shows many of the recent numbers regarding opioid epidemics.


Factsheet on Opioids


What is an opioid?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse opioids are, “a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.”


The numbers are even worse close to home. In Rhode Island alone, over 1000 people died within the last 5 years, which tops all New England states.

Why the Epidemic?

I don’t like to make generalizations as everyone’s individual case is different. So I will share reasons that I have personally encountered in my personal and professional life that I feel contribute to the epidemic.

  1. People have no other options. When it comes to pain, sometimes it can get so severe that when physicians no longer prescribe opioids, many turn to illicit drugs like heroin or fentanyl – much cheaper options. This then can begin a deadly cycle of addiction.
  2. People don’t know their other options. I’ve talked to many people and when they explain their situation to me, many do not realize that physical therapy was even an option to begin with in helping them with their pain, or their experience with their physical therapist did not go so well.
  3. Cost of Physical Therapy. Cost of physical therapy for some people is another reason why many are stuck with taking opioids for their pain. High deductible rates can place a financial burden on individuals. So when people cannot afford it, they visit their physician asking for more opioids.
  4. Insurances Will Not Give More Visits. Some insurance companies limit the number of visits one can have, which is understandable in some cases, however, some make it extremely difficult to approve for more visits. In the end the patient is still in pain.


How PT can Help

  1. Physical therapists are educators. As a PT, I believe our first job is to educate the public. It’s really important to let patients know the side-effects of opioids, what it can lead to, and what our role is in their health.
  2. PT solves the ACTUAL cause of pain, whereas opioids mask it. While pain reduction is important, pain also gives a signal to our brain that something isn’t right. So when someone on opioids doesn’t feel their pain they may do more damage to themselves. PT will address the real issue of the cause to one’s pain rather than masking it.
  3. Non-pharmacologic interventions are the preferred option when managing chronic/acute pain.
  4. Movement and exercise are natural pain killers. PT’s can help you move in a non-threatening way. Exercise has also been shown to improve pain by releasing natural endorphins within the body.


Please consult or seek out a physical therapist if you or anyone you know is dealing with pain. Possible addiction is not worth it!


Dr. Jomar Farrales, PT, DPT

Weekly Motivation

When You Want to Succeed as Bad as You Want to Breathe, Then You'll Be Successful. (1).png


Here is your weekly motivation of the week! How many times have we held ourselves back from doing certain things because we weren’t comfortable with it? I’ve done this so many times and it was because I was either too scared, too embarrassed, or just not confident enough in myself.


It’s something that I’ve had to work on daily, and being a PT I’m forced into positions that make me uncomfortable – whether it’s doing an initial evaluation, talking to another physician, or making conversation with a complete stranger. It’s difficult but I can honestly say that I’ve gotten so much better at it.

There is absolutely no growth in the comfort zone. When you’re comfortable, you’re stagnant, and your actions reflect that. I challenge you this week to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable because I can tell you that the more you do it the more CONFIDENT you become and the more powerful you feel!


Dr. Jomar C Farrales, PT, DPT