Does Yoga Help With Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?

Many people who abuse opioids want to stop but don’t even get past the first couple hours because of the painful withdrawal symptoms that come along with quitting. So after experiencing these painful withdrawal symptoms, the thought of intense drug cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can be intimidating for people with opioid addiction. This is the main reason people continue the cycle of addiction: the fear of painful opioid withdrawal.

Does Yoga Help With Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms?

How Do You Feel During Withdrawal from Opioids

Opiate withdrawal symptoms may range from mild to severe, depending on many variables. How dependent the individual is on an opioid drug, the length of time taking a particular drug, dosage amount, which drug was taken, how the drug was taken, underlying medical conditions, and much more. Here are what opioid symptoms can look like:

Early Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
These usually start within 6-12 hours for short-acting opiates, and they start within 30 hours for longer-acting ones:

  • Muscle aches
  • Agitation
  • Trouble falling and staying asleep
  • Excessive yawning
  • Anxiety
  • Nose running
  • Sweats
  • Racing heart
  • Hypertension
  • Fever

Late Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms
These peak within 72 hours and usually last a week or so:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH):

Medical detoxification safely manages the acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with stopping drug use. However, medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use. Although detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor to effective drug addiction treatment.

Opioid detox is not a cookie-cutter approach and requires individualized attention for every single person. Withdrawal symptoms vary from user to use, therefore it’s important to offer personalized opioid detox for the best chance at staying sober.

The Path to Recovery from Opioid Addiction

To get the most out of treatment and have the best chance of continuing on the path of recovery, one must regain good health in all dimensions – mental, emotional, and physical. The one that gets overlooked the most can have more of an impact than one would think – physical therapy. Physical therapy will not help with all the conditions, but it can help with many and is associated with better outcomes for people who enter treatment for a substance use disorder.

When we think of physical therapy we usually think of therapy to help someone to gain range of motion but there are many different types from ones that help you regain health to your body to your brain health.

Besides the popular forms of physical therapy, there is also the holistic approach, which can aid in improving the body’s strength, energy levels, and stress relief. Such practices include yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture, and more. All of these practices of therapy can aid in your path to a new and healthy sober you.

How Yoga Helps With Opioid Detox

From these holistic approaches to help with opioid withdrawal symptoms, yoga seems to be the most beneficial due to its ability to strengthen the body as well as address insomnia that comes with opioid withdrawal.

Yoga is so important within providing a better sleep routine because in return:

  • It can promote the repair and health of your heart and blood vessels
  • Trigger the release of hormones that repair cells and tissues
  • Maintain the balance of hormones that make you feel hungry and full
  • Support the entire immune system

Effective recovery requires a comprehensive approach to care. Detox is the beginning of the journey to recovery and sobriety. Implementing physical therapy early in the recovery process helps patients learn how to safely and effectively manage their pain and care for their bodies. Alleviating pain also enables an individual to focus on their health and their treatment without any unnecessary distractions.