Dealing With Chronic Pain Management Under Quarantine

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In light of the pandemic that we currently face, it also presents us with an all-time high global health crisis. The adjustments that COVID-19 has caused us to make doubles the distress for those suffering from diseases or chronic pain. That’s why, in this trying time, it’s crucial to address your symptoms while not amplifying fear and anxiety appropriately.

The government has imposed quarantine as a measure to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Because of this, people with chronic pain have lost access to many support programs and medicine access. Many patients are left alone to cope on their own.

As such, for patients and their loved ones, it’s vital to know the support and services available to help them. How can patients rationally manage chronic pain amid the quarantine period caused by the coronavirus?

The Main Challenge

Because chronic pain is an often-difficult condition to treat, patients are often vulnerable to developing depression and anxiety. At this time, chronic pain patients face more significant challenges other than the burden of their pain. As we undergo social distancing, there is a higher risk of mental health challenges.

“Chronic pain and mental health disorders are common in the general population, and epidemiological studies suggest that a bidirectional relationship exists between these 2 conditions,” W. Michael Hooten, M.D., of the Division of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine notes.

But one of the primary concerns is the abrupt reduction of opioid medication availability. It becomes an even more significant problem if there is a total absence of medication—which can then lead to withdrawal syndrome. Drugs are useful in chronic pain treatment, but they may also produce side effects, which a professional should monitor.

This sudden and rapid withdrawal can lead to haze in decision-making. Patients may end up making risky decisions with long-term consequences.

Medication Shortage

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Some states have revised prescribing regulations for certain medications to prevent shortages and to make it easier for patients to obtain it. Physicians are voicing out their concern for potential shortfalls due to adjustments in production and importation. Hence, a lot of doctors are providing alternative strategies and communication channels to provide support for patients.

Though pharmacy generally has enough stock at this time, the fear and anxiety can lead to another concern—hoarding. Potentially, the higher demand for medications can affect the already limited supply. Hoarding medical supplies can have downstream effects individually and to the public health system.

Supports And Services For Chronic Pain Patients During COVID-19

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Especially at this time, pain management is vital to prevent and lessen avoidable emergency room visits. If many patients go to the ER, it will defeat the purpose of the imposed quarantine—which is to minimize face-to-face interactions.

The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine has published guidelines on treatments that can go along amid the pandemic.

Regulatory systems have allowed for extended durations of prescription. Here are some alternative treatments to chronic pain amid the global pandemic:  

  • Dose Tapering

For patients undergoing opioid treatment, discuss with your doctor about the possibility of a dose tapering regimen to safely reduce their requirements. If it’s not possible, you can also ask how you can obtain medication. Your doctor can also come up with an alternative treatment or non-medication-based treatment to manage their pain. 

  • Telehealth

The use of telehealthcare broadens access to services without needing to go to a healthcare facility. Doctors can evaluate chronic pain patients without a direct visit to their clinic. These services include:
– Live audio or video consultations
– Virtual check-ins
– Non-face-to-face communication via patient portals

  • Online Exercising Tools

The pandemic may have lessened the regular therapy visits to manage chronic pain, but there are a lot of online tool options. Through these tools, patients can continue to perform exercises at home.

  • Online Support Groups

More than ever, patients need access to medical and psychological consultations. Online support groups can also help chronic pain patients remain connected at a time when they feel more isolated. It’s also important to reach out to families and friends to alert them to the caring measure you’re taking. It can also help them prepare in case anything happens to the patient.

Conclusion

During this time, it’s crucial to understand the connection between anxiety, fear, and physical pain. Chronic pain patients need to know how to access help if they need it during this COVID-19 period. Having effective remote pain management under quarantine can restore the sense of calm and control in your system. Just follow the expert-guided exercises to break the pain-fear cycle. Lastly, it’s essential to have support from a positive-minded community who can help you get through this pandemic.

Categories: Pain Management

Pain Management Specialists And Their Goals

 

10 causas para as dores nas costas explicadas por um médico

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Last year’s 2019 Pain Management Symposium was one of the best so far, according to the nursing professionals who have been attending the event annually. It was all about new pain management techniques and emerging therapies that nurses, researchers, and other healthcare professionals can learn about. A lot of them attended the symposium as they were aware that they needed all these discoveries for the improvement of their career and their skills in general. Pain management specialists were also present to share knowledge and best practices.

To know more about these pain management experts, let us further elaborate on it here.

Pain Management Specialists

Pain management doctors acknowledge the complicated behavior of pain and approach each problem multi-directionally. Typically, pain treatment is patient-focused, but realistically, this depends on what is available in the pain clinic. As of today, there are no official standard requirements for the forms of disciplines that should be included, which is also why treatment options vary in every clinic. However, experts say that the very least that a pain clinic must offer are three types of doctors – a pain management specialist to provide consultation, a physical rehab specialist, and a psychiatrist to help patients deal with their accompanying mental illness like depression or anxiety if there are any. Other specialties that represent pain management include internal medicine, neurosurgery, and anesthesiology.

Consequently, to be accepted as a pain management specialist in the standards of the American Board of Medical Specialties, a medical professional should have been able to complete complementary training and credentialing in the field of pain medicine and have acquired board certification in either physical rehab, psychiatry and neurology, and anesthesiology.

Photo of an athletic trainer performing muscle scraping on a patient.

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Pain Management Goals
Whether your type of pain is chronic, like tension, headaches, or acute, like pain from surgery, pain management specialists treat them all as a disease. Today, some new modalities and techniques help decrease a patient’s pain, along with alternative medicine and physical therapy. The ultimate goal of pain management is to reduce pain, not eliminate it. Why? Because most often than not, it is not always possible to get rid of it. The other two goals are to improve one’s quality of life and to enhance function.

 

 

Categories: Pain Management

3 Tips On How To Deal With Emotional Pain

When life gets you down, and it seems like you cannot get anything right, you can feel the pain starting to sink in. For some people, they can get over the emotional pain of being rejected easily, but for others, they carry it with them for a long time. “Emotional pain can become an addiction to some people. Overwhelmed with feelings like sadness, depression, guilt, shame or fear, these emotions become so common and constant that you may feel like it’s a part of you and you can’t imagine life without it,” says Elizabeth Hartney, PhD.

 

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Categories: Pain Management

How Chronic Pain Can Change A Marriage

The sad truth about chronic pain is that it can negatively change any marriage. “About 50 percent of people who have chronic pain also have depression,” according to Robert D. Kerns, Ph.D. And depression can destroy a relationship. It can also turn a happy person into an irritable one. If your partner is suffering from chronic pain, then it is expected that he will become difficult to deal with. You will be surprised at how mean he can get because of his sickness.

In this article, we are going to look closely at how it can completely change a marriage.

 

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Categories: Pain Management

Dealing With A Partner’s Chronic Illness 

The best part about getting married is that you get to spend the rest of your life with the one you love. Once you have decided to marry someone, there is no turning back. You are supposed to stay with that person, in sickness or health, until death does you part. The challenge now is staying in love despite all the problems and struggles that will come in the way of the marital union. One of the possible scenarios that you may end up with is discovering that your partner has a chronic illness. 

 “While facing and dealing with chronic illness is understandably frightening, that fear does not need to rule or ruin your life or your relationships,” says Sharrie Thompson, a registered nurse, certified clinical aromatherapist, reiki master, and advanced pranic practitioner.

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Categories: Pain Management

A Quick Guide To Physical Therapy 

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When it comes to handling and dealing with chronic pain, the first thing that you need to remember is the importance of physical therapy. There is a necessity to set an appointment with a therapist who could look into your condition and help you recover from the pain. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the basics of physical therapy. 

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Categories: Pain Management

Dealing With Chronic Pain Through A Psychiatrist

 

 

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There are many kinds of pain that the human body may experience. It can be classified into many groups and one of which is chronic pain. “When the pain continues after healing, it becomes persistent or chronic. The brain continues to produce pain even when the body is healed. Then it becomes a much more complex pain; the person feels that they have not recovered even though there are no physical explanations for the pain,” according to Ana Nogales, Ph.D. This pertains to the type of pain that lasts for more than twelve weeks or three months. Some experts refer to it as a severe form of pain. According to a medical study, there have been reported cases of chronic pain lasting for more than one year.

 

If you are experiencing chronic pain, the best thing to do is to call a pain doctor as soon as possible. Do not ignore the symptoms of pain, since it could make the situation worse. When this happens, there is a high possibility that you would feel inconvenience in your daily life. You may have disturbances in your sleep, constant mood swings and episodes of anxiety or depression. Because of these emotional issues, it is highly recommended to see a psychiatrist.

“While emotional pain is often dismissed as being less serious than physical pain, it is important that continual emotional pain is taken seriously. In some cases, you may need to see a physician before emotional pain has lasting consequences,” a reminder from Elizabeth Hartney, PhD.

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Here are some of the things that you need to know:

 

  1. Psychiatric Treatments Are Useful In Learning How To Deal With Pain

The goal of this kind of treatment is to make the patient find the perfect way on how to deal with chronic pain. At this point, it is essential to highlight the fact that each has his or her way of handling the pain. Just because one method works for one patient does not mean that it will also work for the other. Fortunately, the services of a psychiatrist can guide the patient in identifying a suitable way of dealing with the pain.

 

  1. The Approach Varies From One Patient To Another

Once you start to hire the services of a psychiatrist, you need to understand that the approach he will use depends on the attending circumstances of your case. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to this. The professional will study your case, which involves the cause of the chronic pain, its duration, as well as the other side effects that you feel. From the findings, the psychiatrist will then decide on the proper way to approach your treatment or healing process. This is essential because choosing the wrong approach may cause a delay in the recovery.

 

 A Psychiatrist May Work Hand In Hand With A Pain Doctor

The expertise of a psychiatrist is different from the pain doctor. However, there are instances wherein you will see these medical experts working together for the interest of a common patient. You have the option to choose the arrangement that you prefer. The advantage of this kind of setup is that the records will be readily transmitted between and among the professionals. As such, there is a high chance that both of them could help you in treating chronic pain in the fastest way possible. As the famous saying goes, “Two heads are better than one.”

“It can help people develop and foster passion, productivity, and balance in their lives,” said Chris Boyd, a psychotherapist, and he was referring to therapy.

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Chronic pain can cause a lot of disturbances in your life. Be sure to handle it the right way by seeking the professional help of a pain doctor as well as a psychiatrist.

 

Categories: Pain Management

How To Deal With A Husband Suffering From Chronic Pain

 

 

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Is your loved one suffering from chronic pain? Is his chronic illness affecting your relationship? Do you want to make things lighter between the two of you? If you answered yes to all these questions, then be sure to read this article from start to finish. Our team has created a roundup post containing several tips on how you can deal with someone who has a chronic illness.

 

  1. Learn About The Pain. This is the most important thing that you have to do. Take note that the pain that your loved one is going through is severe. You will never understand his reactions or conducts without learning more about his chronic pain. Because of this, you also need to have a relationship with the pain doctor. It is necessary to ask for updates on his medical condition so that you will know what to do.

“When pain is chronic, options become limited. However, there is still a lot one can do. This does not mean that the pain is non-existent or that everything is in our head. To clarify, we are talking about a neurological process that determine our reactions, but whose mechanism we can learn from and influence to our benefit,” says Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

  1. Know The Pain Intensity. As already mentioned above, each patient may have different levels of pain depending on the attending circumstance of each case. Most of the time, the pain will increase especially if the patient is not cooperating with the treatment or other medical procedures. The best way to do here is to develop a code wherein you could determine the level of pain that your partner is experiencing. Try to ask him about it on a regular basis.

 

  1. Help Him Exercise. Being physically active is a proven effective way of eliminating or decreasing pain. Therefore, your goal is to ensure that your spouse exercises regularly. Help him come up with a fitness schedule that he could follow for a given month. At the same time, accompany him in performing the exercise activities so that the experience would be more fun and enjoyable.

 

  1. Avoid Sensationalizing Everything. As a wife, it is only reasonable that you want to take the condition of your husband in a serious note. However, it is also essential that you keep in mind that your partner is already suffering too much. Do not make things more difficult by overreacting about everything. Instead, try to keep your calm and show him that you are handling the situation smartly. You can worry about his case but do not rattle him with your negative comments or emotions.

 

  1. Respect Boundaries. Do not easily get offended if the other person wants to be alone for a while. Avoid taking things personally and making a big deal out of it. As an alternative, try to increase your patience and understanding. Chronic pain offers a high level of discomfort on the part of the person involved. Because of this, he may opt to find some solitude. When this happens, let him be. The proper thing to do is to give him space and respect the boundaries.

“Encourage each other to find someone outside of your relationship to sound off to who will listen more than they talk, ask just enough questions to allow you to process your thoughts, be confidential and trustworthy with your deepest thoughts, and not judge you for your frustrations,” according to Sharrie Thompson, nurse and Reiki expert.

Source: healthdirect.org.au

 

Always put in mind that your partner is going through a difficult phase in his life. Be there for him no matter what happens. Do not give up because all your efforts will be worth it in the end.

And then, there’s therapy. Therapy “brings the benefit of a broader awareness to life, to not get wrapped up in a single way of living life, to explore healthy self-expression in ways that perhaps a person had been hiding from themselves,” said David Teachout, LMHCA, a psychotherapist.

 

Categories: Pain Management