In Nigeria today, a survey shows that numerous people are dependent on opioids for pain management. It is logical that we feel the need to quickly get rid of the pain, as it can disrupt your sleep, decrease productivity, cause social isolation and depression, which is why the most common prescription for pain is pain relief medications. Unfortunately, the usage of opioids and other pain relief substances has become a growing concern globally. Research proves that people living in urban areas such as Lagos are at risk of developing problems requiring opioids and other pain relief medications. Osahon Okodugha, a consultant Physiotherapist with St Joseph's Physiotherapy clinic, stated that as a Lagos based physiotherapy clinic, most patients have visited us with musculoskeletal conditions (such as back pain ) caused by long hours of sitting in traffic, bumps from bad roads, and especially sitting for extended periods in workplaces etc. Senior Citizens are particularly ranked high in substance use for pain relief due to the inevitable health challenges that may arise with age. Also, the demand for pain relief emanates from primary care doctors providing it as a source of quick relief. The availability of these medications, also make it easier and faster to prescribe. In most cases, these medications only treat the symptom, and do not address the cause of the pain. The adverse effects of long-term use of opioids may include constipation, stomach upset, nausea, an increased risk of falling, and may only provide relief for a short period thereby leading to dependence and addiction of users. Fortunately, the good news is that there are alternatives to pain management, depending on the type of pain and its location, and at the top of the alternatives is Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can help manage several conditions such as the back, knee, shoulder problems, etc. Many people who have visited a physiotherapist have confirmed that they have gained complete relief after a few sessions. As physiotherapists, we have been trained to create personalized rehabilitation programmes, stretches, traction, postural correction, ultrasound therapy,thermotherapy, joint manipulation, improve range of motion, soothe joint and back pain for various conditions. Physiotherapy will reduce tremendously, if not eliminate the need for pain relief medications. Massage Therapy, which can also be done by a physiotherapist is another effective method of managing pain. Massage therapy is effective for muscular pain and pain heightened by anxiety and stress. From our observation, 40% of patients who have undergone massage therapy attest to being completely cured of muscular pain after several sessions, while only about 4% of people using pain relief medications are relieved of recurring muscular pain. Acupuncture is also a complementary practice sometimes offered by physiotherapists, that could address conditions such as low back and knee pain, migraine, and fibromyalgia. Acupuncture needles, when inserted into the skin, stimulate nerves in the body that, in turn, override pain. Ensure that this procedure is done by an expert. Other forms of drug-free pain relief include Yoga and Mind-body therapy. There are yoga poses that can help manage pain-related conditions. We recommend yoga as a method of combating back pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can also help manage how you think and react to pain. Also, there are medical interventions that do not require pills but offer temporary relief for short-term painful ailments. For example: Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS is often used by physiotherapists to treat persistent back pain, neck, and shoulder, Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, etc. The battery-operated devices deliver electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the surface of your skin. The current it disseminates disrupts the pain pathways from the nerves at trigger points. Botox Injection: The commonly known use for botox is to eradicate wrinkles and smoother the face. But botox can also temporarily treat chronic muscle and jaw pain. The neurotoxic protein it contains can help relax muscles In some affected parts. Pain can be very uncomfortable and can interfere with all aspects of your life, but so can the side effects of constantly consuming pain relief medications. If you are in Lagos and experiencing muscle pains (especially in the Ikoyi,Victoria Island, and Lekki areas) you can replace your medications with Physiotherapy by scheduling an appointment with us today at St Joseph's Physiotherapy Clinic. We are at 21B Christ Avenue, off Admiralty Road, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria.