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How Treatment for Opioids in Long Beach has Changed 

How Treatment for Opioids in Long Beach has Changed 

Opioid addiction in America has risen to crisis proportions in recent years, affecting people from all demographics and all walks of life.

According to a recent study released by the US Department of Health and Human Services, 130 people die every day from opioid overdose from drugs that include prescription pain medications like oxycodone and morphine, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and hydromorphone, and street opiates like heroin.

Opioid addiction can affect anyone

It often starts innocently enough. Following an injury or after surgery, patients are prescribed pain medication to help them cope as they heal. What is supposed to be a temporary intervention quickly turns into a physical addiction.

If the doctor refuses to renew the prescription, patients often turn to the street, often ending up with counterfeit drugs, some laced with deadly doses of fentanyl. Those who do not overdose become even more addicted.

While some manage to maintain their jobs and go on with their lives in spite of it, many lose everything to their addiction, spending all of their time trapped in the cycle of getting money for drugs through crime or deception, looking for drugs, using them, and recovering from them.

For these individuals, there is little choice. The withdrawal symptoms are severe enough that they will do just about anything to keep themselves well – which means, continuing to use. When desperation sets in, any promise of relief will do, leading even the most cautious into dangerous territory.

Opioid addiction treatment Long Beach

While you might think the opioid crisis is a recent phenomenon, addiction has threatened public health several times over the past few centuries. Every time it takes hold, scientists come up with newer versions of the drug that are supposed to be safer.

Many of these formulations, like heroin, and more recently, methadone, have actually been invented to treat addiction. The philosophy is that if a doctor can control and monitor the dosage, it will be easier to manage. In reality, what they are really doing is transferring the addiction to a different form of the same thing and continuing the cycle. While some may respond to this treatment and move past their addiction, many become stuck in it for years, never truly breaking free.

What’s different in today’s opioid treatment?

Today, we better understand the mechanisms of addiction and pain. We approach treatment and recovery differently than in the past, putting the focus on the patient and helping them return to a functional, productive life.

Medications we now use to treat opioid addiction, like buprenorphine, Suboxone, and Subutex, are highly advanced, alleviating the symptoms without causing the opiate “high.”

At our Long Beach opioid treatment center, we combine drug therapy with a multi-disciplinary therapeutic approach that includes psychological counseling, physical therapy, and educational support to help individuals get their lives and their joy for living back on track.

While medications are an important intervention in addiction treatment, we place an equal focus on the underlying cause, whether that is rooted in chronic pain, psychological behaviors, outside stressors, or other forms of mental illness. This type of combination therapy has helped many people overcome the bonds of opioid addiction and return to a healthy, productive, and happy life.

Opioid treatment Long Beach

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, we can help. Reach out today to get started.


Chronic Pain and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: Queer MEDucation

Chronic Pain and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: Queer MEDucation

Most people utilize physical therapy for orthopedic purposes, however, physical therapy has so much more to offer. Roots CPR‘s Functional Restoration Director, Dr. Michael Zabala Aquino, PT, DPT, also the founder of Deconstruct Health, sat down with Kerin “KB” Berger, medical professional and educator for LGBTQI + nonbinary. Dr. Aquino discusses his mission to alleviate the barriers that exist for the queer community, particularly queer people of color and transgender/gender nonconforming individuals, through the use of physical therapy and whole body wellness.


About the Podcast:

Queer MEDucation is a platform to educate medical professionals and the general population on LGBTQI+GNC health care. Please enjoy a series of expert interviews featuring medical providers, mental health professionals, advocates, and community members.



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Most people utilize physical therapy for orthopedic purposes, however, physical therapy has so much more to offer. Roots CPR's Functional Restoration Director, Dr. Michael Zabala Aquino, PT, DPT, also the founder of Deconstruct Health, sat down with Kerin "KB" Berger,...

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Read Our Digital Brochure to Learn More

Read Our Digital Brochure to Learn More

Roots Chronic Pain Recovery offers a mind-body solution to people suffering from chronic pain due to accidents, workplace injuries and repetitive stress. We integrate medical services, pain education, cognitive therapies, mindfulness, movement and exercise, physical therapy, and nutrition to help people regain control of their body and their lives.

Read our digital brochure to learn more.

Contact us today

Don’t let chronic pain rob you of another day. We are here to help you take back control of your body and your life. Find out how Roots Chronic Pain Recovery can help.

Workplace Injuries and Opioid Dependence

Workplace Injuries and Opioid Dependence

Workplace injuries happen everyday, and more often than not, the injured worker will be prescribed an opioid as a way to help ease the pain and lasting issues associated with the immediate injury. Whether the ultimate treatment for the injury involves surgery, physical therapy, or another treatment, medical professionals often turn to opioids like Vicodin or Oxycodone to placate the injured worker’s reported pain.

Risk of Opioid Dependence

As well as they may work to reduce pain levels, the unfortunate truth about opioids is that they are highly addictive, and they have been shown to increase pain sensitivity, called Opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH), which creates a vicious cycle of increased pain, increased dosage, increased tolerance and increased risk of dependence and overdose. Several studies, including one in JAMA, show that as many as one-third of workers who begin using opioids for a workplace injury become addicted to them — which can hinder both the treatment and recovery for the injury, as well as their timetable to return to work and living a productive life.

One report from the CDC found that among adults (non-cancer patients) who received a prescription for opioids, the likelihood of chronic opioid use started after just three days of the medication, and increased with each additional day of medication supplied. The most dramatic increase among these patients was seen after the fifth day of taking opioids, and the highest probability of continued opioid use at 1 and 3 years was seen among patients who were prescribed long-acting opioids like Fentanyl or Morphine.

Increased Time Off Work

The research is strong enough that some medical groups have begun recommending against prescribing opioids for less severe injuries, as developing an addiction after a workplace injury has become a growing concern in industries around the world. Although some medical communities may see opioids as the best (or only) option for getting injured workers back to work — particularly for injuries that can’t be resolved with surgery and will likely linger for an extended period of time — opioid use triples a worker’s time spent on disability, on average.

Considering that the time spent on disability doesn’t even factor in other possible side effects of becoming dependent on opioids, the risks associated with the popular painkillers can make them a dangerous choice for anyone suffering from a workplace injury. Although they may seem necessary for a physician who has “tried everything”, finding an alternative source of pain relief could spare employees, employers, and workers compensation carriers all over the world from the weeks, months, or even years of suffering that opioids can lead to.

Alternative Treatments

There are evidence-based alternative treatments for pain that focus on changing one’s beliefs and removing fear around pain – altering the pain experience. An effective and integrated pain recovery program, like Roots Chronic Pain Recovery, utilizes approaches including mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, EMDR, and art therapy, and integrates yoga, tai chi, physical therapy, family therapy, and other modalities.

“The goal is to get people moving again”, says Dr. Michael Aquino, PT, DPT, “The less people move out of fear of further injury, the more pain they will experience.”

Roots Chronic Pain Recovery has developed a mind-body approach to treat chronic pain and opioid dependency. With personalized treatment and an interdisciplinary team, we can help you regain control of your body – and your life.

Take The First Step Now

For immediate assistance, please call our Admissions Specialists at +1(562) 473-0827 or +1(866) 766-8776.

For more information or to start admissions – fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible:

Trauma and Chronic Pain: The Link and How to Recover

Trauma and Chronic Pain: The Link and How to Recover

The link between trauma and negative health outcomes among adults, including chronic physical and mental illness, is well-established. What is less known are studies like this one by Harvard Health, and other research, suggesting there is a link between trauma and chronic pain. Modern pain professionals understand that pain is a function of the brain and our processing of many inputs: our pain receptors, our environment, our culture and beliefs about pain, and our past experiences. So naturally, symptoms of trauma will have an impact on our physical well-being and how we process pain. While it is easy for one to make this connection by looking at the co-occurrence of these trauma and pain, it is not always the easiest connection to make when you’re the one suffering.

Trauma and Chronic Pain

As touched on in our discussion about “Big T” and “Little T” trauma, the lasting effects of significant trauma that triggers intense and damaging physiological responses can become clear decades later. While some trauma survivors may identify the single moment that led to their issues, others may be unaware that seemingly insignificant occurrences have actually left permanent scars.

This is particularly true for people whose chronic pain surfaces years after the person thinks they’ve “moved on” from adverse childhood experiences. Considering that the pain often manifests itself in the back, neck, and/or shoulders — areas that can be just as easily affected by stress, posture, or just the grind of daily life — people are likely to blame that pain and discomfort on a number of other factors rather than connecting their symptoms to the trauma.

PTSD and Avoidance

Aside from the devastating physiological impact of traumatic experiences, people who have been involved in an accident or have been injured as a result of abuse may push dealing these issues to their peripheral — or ignore them altogether — in order to not have to suffer the psychological consequences of addressing trauma. As we know, one of the three symptom clusters of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is avoidance and when someone has trauma around an injury, avoiding certain movements or behaviors to avoid re-experiencing the trauma is an expected outcome.

However, this results in restricting movements and a host of chronic pain issues, including reduced circulation, muscle atrophy, joint issues, and “smudging the brain map” – or confusing the brain about where the pain is actually experienced. And because pain is actually a function of brain, believing you are experiencing pain means you are experiencing pain, and it can consume you.

“Pain can take over different areas of the brain when it becomes chronic. It can take over our cognitive centers, it will fire the movement areas so it will make us rigid and freeze. Pain occupies a lot of our resources,” says Dr. Michael Aquino, PT, DPT. He adds, “This is why a lot of patients will tell me that they’re fatigued and unable to think about other things”.

Medical Trauma

In addition to these types of traumatic events, people who undergo surgery for health issues are subjected to another type of trauma: medical trauma. As the National Child Traumatic Stress Network says, medical trauma, like any adverse life event, is a result of one’s subjective experience rather than the actual severity of the medical event. So identifying trauma in these cases it isn’t as easy as looking at their medical history, as a person’s experience undergoing a simple procedure like having their appendix removed could be traumatic for one person and not another.

The symptoms of a medical trauma are the same as that of childhood abuse or combat – avoidance, fear, anxiety, withdraw – so someone suffering from this type of trauma may avoid seeking medical attention even if they know they are experiencing pain or injury.

Trauma-Informed Chronic Pain Care

Understanding how trauma can contribute to chronic pain is the first step in healing from it and finding recovery from chronic pain. Rather than potentially slipping into a pattern of substance misuse and abuse by turning to medication as a means to reduce the discomfort, identifying and treating the cause — rather than the symptoms — can lead to a significantly better long-term outcome.

Programs like Roots Chronic Pain Recovery understand that the key to a better quality of life is to remove the fear around pain and movement, and address these underlying issues by reframing our pain experience. Using modalities like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a holistic chronic pain recovery program like Roots help people shift their beliefs and understanding of pain, and take back control of their body.

For those who are already suffering from chronic pain — and possibly also using medications and other substances to treat it — turning away from what has worked in the past in favor of an entirely different method of therapy can be a scary proposition. Wrap that in with years or decades of misdiagnoses and mistreatment, and it can seem like an impossible mountain to climb at this point, which is exactly why facilities like Roots Chronic Pain Recovery are changing the way we talk about chronic pain.

With personalized and meaningful therapy, increased movement and exercise, and integrated care, even the most severe trauma and chronic pain can be worked through with time. By identifying and addressing the roots causes of pain and overcoming the co-occurring mental health and substance use issues, Roots Chronic Pain Recovery helps with every step of the journey. Whether it’s stress-related, a work place injury, or stemming from an earlier trauma, getting help for your chronic pain can not only improve your quality of life, but save it in the long run.

Call us today at (562) 473-0827, or fill out the form below to have one of our specialists contact you. 



Take The First Step Now

For immediate assistance, please call our Admissions Specialists at +1(562) 473-0827 or +1(866) 766-8776.

For more information or to start admissions – fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible:

Chronic Pain Podcasts: Top 5 List for 2019

Chronic Pain Podcasts: Top 5 List for 2019

Chronic pain is complicated, and learning about the topic from literature and research can be a daunting task. Chronic pain podcasts are a great way to take in information from a variety of sources and in a format that is fun and entertaining. But there are a lot of chronic pain podcasts out there, so searching for the right one can be as daunting of a task as reading the literature. If you’re searching for the chronic pain podcasts that are right for you, look no further. Michael Aquino, PT, DPT, the Functional Restoration Director for Roots Chronic Pain Recovery put together a list of his favorites. 


1. Like Mind, Like Body from Curable

Why we like it: Podcast by the Curable App, an app made and developed by pain scientists and clinicians to treat chronic pain through learning about it and developing the mind body connection. Most patient friendly. You get to hear patient experiences and also get insight from a variety of health professionals.

Where to listen:

2. Pain Reframed from the International Spine & Pain Institute

Why we like it: This one is geared towards health professionals due to the information and topics covered. Really can get health professionals inspired to treat pain better.

Where to listen:

3. The Modern Pain Podcast by Modern Pain Care

Why we like it: Is a good balance for both patient and health professionals. They include patient experiences and professional insight into the treatment of pain.

Where to listen:

4. The Healing Pain Podcast with Dr. Joe Tatta

Why we like it: Another great podcast that addresses pain for multiple health professional perspectives and include topics such as nutrition, physical therapy, and mindfulness.

Where to listen:

5. Pain Science and Sensibility Podcast from the PT Podcast Network

Why we like it: Very research heavy and dense. If you’re not a health professional or not into the idea of going over research papers this one may be tough to listen to.

Where to listen:

Michael Z. Aquino, PT, DPT
Dr. Aquino is an orthopedic and pelvic health physical therapist, who obtained his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Chapman University. Dr. Aquino has a passion for people with chronic pain conditions with a goal of helping them return to function and live meaningful lives again. He underwent clinical mentorship within a multidisciplinary pain program to specialize in chronic pain, working with individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions such as CRPS, chronic low back pain, and chronic neck pain, and chronic pelvic pain. He is currently pursuing his Therapeutic Pain Specialist certification through the International Spine and Pain Institute to further his skill set in modern evidence-based chronic pain treatment.

Take The First Step Now

For immediate assistance, please call our Admissions Specialists at +1(562) 473-0827 or +1(866) 766-8776.

For more information or to start admissions – fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible: