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How Will Doctors Help Chronic Pain Patients During Pandemic?

The world is under lockdown. And that includes various treatment centers as well. It means healthcare providers are reallocating their resources to protect the patients and staff from contracting the infection. So, whether it is an elective, routine, or non-emergency cases, Southern California medical clinic pain doctors are requesting their patients to stay away or socially distance themselves. Rather than visiting a clinic or a hospital without informing them.

Though the infection came rushing without giving anyone a chance to develop measures to tackle the situation, we were lucky enough since telemedicine or eHealth approaches were already there for the past few years. Still, it was a big ask to support people with non-urgent and long term conditions when the healthcare was already crippling with the incoming corona cases. 

Undoubtedly, pain management doctors are also facing challenges in delivering face-to-face services. Fortunately, many studies provide an insight into using technology for a useful clinical experience. However, technology can’t cater to every plight of the patients in the midst of the COVID-19 dangers. So, let’s talk about the different approaches that would be carried out by the pain management specialist to reach the maximum number of patients.

Allocation of Resources

Presumably, coronavirus cases hold the prime spot in terms of care services. So, pain prevention or control measures will remain disrupted inevitably amid the growing pandemic. Consequently, outpatient procedures or inaccessibility of healthcare movements might also restrict your movements. However, the effect of the pandemic will be felt differently depending on the population density, age, socioeconomic gradient, and access to healthcare services. 

Hence, populations with higher chronic pain cases might experience the disruption far more than others. There is no standard rule as of now when it comes to the pain management practices carried out by Southern California medical clinics. Still, according to the guidelines shared by the government, here is what you can expect. 

Also, Read: How to Extend The Benefits of Telehealth During Pandemic?

Chronic Pain Treatment

According to the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain, chronic pain patients are more vulnerable to catching the virus since therapies for pain management might suppress your overactive immune system. So, here’s how doctors will be taking care of the pain management amid the outbreak.

Urgent Procedures

Higher officials have directed doctors to suspend every elective procedure for now and switch to telemedicine to determine the urgency for a process based on the case. Unfortunately, doctors would only take cases related to device infections, deep infections, or ITP refills or malfunctioning to avoid the spread of the pandemic. 

Semi-Urgent Procedures

The goal of doctors under this category is to avoid patient’s dependence over opioids that might increase the risk of exposure. So, under the following circumstances, you can head to the ER. These include unmanageable cancer pain, post-herpetic neuralgia, chronic herniated disc, cluster headaches, or any other medically resistant pain conditions.

Please note that the option to go ahead with the procedure will still be a doctor’s call. So, connect to the Southern California medical clinic virtually to understand the next steps. 

The Need For Opioids And Steroids

The doctors will be using telemedicine to evaluate your condition for the prescription refill. According to the officials, DEA registered doctors can issue prescriptions even without evaluations if it is for a genuine medical issue. It’s because telemedicine can quickly help to make a clinical assessment remotely. They might even ask you to use the internet or technology for finding the pain-management intervention for chronic pain. It is believed that technology would increase accessibility and scalability. Also, the doctor must go through every risk assessment guidelines while considering steroid injections. It’s because such medications tend to suppress the immune system. 

In a nutshell, 

Any patient who wishes to move ahead with the pain management procedure in any of the Southern California medical clinics will be screened for the possibility of COVID-19. Any history of travel or the presence of symptoms would limit your chances of getting an assessment right away. You will be asked to self-quarantine to avoid the spread of the virus in the community. 

Also, Read- How do Pain Management Clinics Work?

Points to Remember: For Low-risk Patients

According to the guidelines issued by the government, doctors must ensure minimal movement across clinics and hospitals. They are required to evaluate patients in a cleanroom. All the procedures and medications offered must meet the standard precautions. It is mandatory to create aseptic conditions once the procedure is done. 

Points to Remember: For High-risk Patients

If you fall into this category, healthcare assistance will be available if you require an urgent procedure. The procedures and meetings will be done in the rooms designated for COVID-19 patients to ensure that all the protective equipment is available, and precautions are easily followed. The doctors would ensure that the procedure does not lead to any aerosol generation. Hence, they will consider the use of N95 masks based on your case emergencies. 

Meanwhile, Follow These Steps at Home to Manage Your Painful Symptoms

RICE

Many procedures can help alleviate your pain until you can see a doctor at the Southern California medical clinic. For instance, you can try RICE. A term is given to rest, ice, compress, elevate process, which is a go-to treatment for minor sprains or injuries. If that does not help, over-the-counter drugs might be helpful. 

You can also try going for a hot bath. It is a method that can relieve conditions that affect your muscles, bones, or tendons. Sometimes, the mind plays a role in providing the pain-relieving effects. For instance, you can opt for meditation along with medications to relieve your stress coming from the pain signals. 

Final Thoughts

Believe it or not, patients with chronic pain have the highest global mortality rate. So, people waiting for assessment could be the ones who are feeling the heat because of unendurable pain. Also, such cases often fall trap to depression that might result in suicides. 

So, doctors are making it possible to reduce the risk of harm that comes with the undertreatment or no treatment. Also, monitoring the sale of opioids can help reduce the cases of addiction once this is over. The healthcare system definitely doesn’t want to step into another crisis. They understand no treatments will have consequences that might increase the severity of the current situation. 

So, feel free to call a doctor at the Southern California medical clinic, in case any home measures fail to work. They will help you in every way possible. Until then, stay home and stay safe.