When does chronic pain become an emergency? It's a question pain management professionals have always considered. But coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a new set of challenges and special circumstances. People all around the world have been confined to private spaces and physical interaction has come to a halt.
Hospitals all around the world have suspended non-emergency cases into their care. This step was taken in an effort to flatten the pandemic curve and manage resources; especially the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to protect frontline healthcare providers.
Challenge for Chronic Pain Patients
In the midst of this chaos, healthcare systems and patients had to debate the possibility of providing care for chronic pain patients. As much as social distancing is essential to control the spread of COVID-19, these circumstances have proven to be a challenge for patients with chronic pain, according to a recent review.
Surge of Telemedicine
Telemedicine is still in the stage of evolving, but this is its prime time. Every pharmacy and health care system has begun to provide its services contact-free and online. Incentives like Pricepro Pharmacy discounts have made it easy and cost-effective for patients to order their pain medicine and other necessities from the comfort of their homes.
Guidelines for Private Practitioners
If patients come to the OPD, what protocols are needed for disinfection? Should a doctors’ office be cleaned thoroughly after every patients’ visit? In addition to sanitizing the surfaces and common protocols like washing hands and wearing a mask, Physicians and private practitioners should constantly check the state medical society, the state health department websites for further guidelines.
Tips to Follow
Patients with chronic pain can try keeping physically active during the lockdown. Here are some tips on how you can deal with your pain to some extent.
● Pace Yourself
Keep in mind this isn’t a race. This is about building a routine according to your pain level and your comfort. Start slow and observe which exercises provide relief from chronic pain.
● Get Snug
Use pillows or rolled towels to support your neck, knees, hips, or any body part you want to sustain. There are body pillows and memory foams in the market which you can buy for some relief.
● Listen to Your Body
Respect your limits. If your body is screaming at you to stop or cut down, heed the call! Stop if it hurts. Even mild exercises will cause pangs because of painful muscle groups. Find a personal trainer and workout at home if you wish to be more mindful about exercise.
● Take Painkillers
For pain management, physicians recommend that to avoid corticosteroids if a patient has COVID-19 infection, even though asymptomatic. Milder pain symptoms can be relieved with acetaminophen and NSAIDs. For moderate to severe chronic pain, use of opioids with marginal immunosuppression effects, like buprenorphine is recommended.
● Talk to Your Doctor
If you've got further queries, consult with your doctor or physiotherapist. Your physician must be available at all times in case of an emergency.
Home Testing & Sanitizer: