(O’FALLON, IL) - HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is hosting a free educational health presentation, Health Connections, Thursday, Sept. 26, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the boardroom of the hospital. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, but seats are limited so RSVPs are required. 

The topic for this session is “Take Charge of Your Pain: Safer pain management with physical therapy” presented by certified pain therapists from St. Elizabeth’s Outpatient Therapy.

The public is invited to learn how to effectively manage pain, understand the benefits of physical therapy as well as the side effects of opioid use for pain.

According to the National Institute of Health, chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans, roughly 1/3 of the population. Concern over the use of opioids to treat pain is reason enough to consider physical therapy as an alternative. Tom Dibadj, PT, DPT, director of therapy services at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital notes that physical therapy is a good choice for people worried about taking various, potentially addictive medications for common pains like joint or back aches. The Centers for Disease Control recommends non-drug approaches like physical therapy over long term or high dose use of addictive prescription painkillers for treatment of chronic pain.

“At one time, studies showed that less than 10 percent of back pain sufferers turned to physical therapy first,” Dibadj said. “Physical therapy programs are trying to battle the overuse of opioids by patients through expanded pain therapy programs and education about the benefits of therapy and the limitations of opioids.” St. Elizabeth’s has expanded their program with two Certified Therapeutic Pain Specialists that utilize pain neuroscience education in addition to traditional therapy models. 

“Patients are taught through physical therapy how to take an active role in their recovery and treating their pain. Research shows understanding pain through education and exercise are two of the most effective treatments,” said Dibadj. The goal for the patient is to decrease pain and get back to everyday activities.

“Pain is normal, living with pain is not.” Dibadj said. “Every person’s needs are different, and treatments are tailored to each individual.”

Those interested in attending the Health Connections presentation may email StEMarketing@hshs.org or call 618-234-2120, ext. 41270 to register. The boardroom is located on the first floor of the hospital. Enter the building at the main entrance under the blue "Hospital" sign and continue down the hall to the boardroom.

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270

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