Opioids Can’t Testify

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Oct 11, 2021 in Personal Injury

“And ladies and gentlemen, in support of my client’s severe, constant pain, I call witness, oxycontin followed by witness fentanyl.”  “What?!” you say. “That’s ridiculous!! Opioids can’t testify!”  

Of course not, but prescribing opioids is often the path of least resistance. In the post-pandemic era, the medical profession has been squeezed by staffing shortages. And, insurance companies do not favor paying for more expensive, time-consuming modalities such as physical therapy. 

Physical Therapists vs. Pain Medications

But for many injuries, consistent, supervised physical therapy is very effective in reducing pain and increasing mobility. Physical therapists have real time, front row seating to injuries and healing. As a result, PTs are among the most persuasive witnesses in personal injury litigation

PTs can and do testify, so choose your physical therapist with that in mind. Develop a relationship with your PT. Find someone you like and stick with him or her. If you like them, they will probably like you and help you when the chips are down. 

Pain medications, by contrast, don’t give a rip about you. Indeed, pain medications (including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen) can be dangerous if misused or used over a long time. But pain medications are typically not subject to health insurance deductibles, while PT and other physical modalities, such as chiropractic, are usually subject to deductibles and coverage limits. 

This situation leads to “the haves” (those with cherry insurance) receiving hands-on care while the “have nots” (everyone else) get feel-good, short-term fixes. Of course, Big Pharma (think Zax Pharmaceutical, Goliath season 4) knows all this. Many treating physicians know this too, but don’t want us to know. Since everyone in pain seeks less pain immediately, opioids are often the easiest solution, even these days long after the opioid cat has left the bag. 

Seek in Person Physical Therapy

The takeaway? Seek in person PT if you can and as authorized by a treating M.D. If you can’t access a live physical therapist, get professional physical therapy instruction, then document your home PT in a diary supplemented with videos showing you performing each recommended exercise. Don’t forget to itemize all PT and therapy expenses (e.g., foam rollers, therapy bands, acupuncture etc.). Decision makers (juries, judges, and arbitrators) are generally more receptive to those who consistently demonstrate determination over drugs and opioids never testify.