The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in. From social distancing, stay at home orders, and closures of businesses, it has transformed everything we thought we knew about our daily lives and instilled a sense of widespread fear and panic. For chronic pain sufferers, COVID-19 has also presented many new obstacles.
Early on it was identified that those with compromised immune systems were at greater risk of developing complications if infected with this virus. For chronic pain sufferers, this meant them. It is not fully known at this time why this is the case, but researchers have found that there is a complex relationship between chronic pain and the immune system. Factors such as age, multiple co-morbidities, and medication usage also contribute to weakened immune systems in these individuals. As a result, social distancing and isolation are imperative for this population.
To complicate things even further for those with chronic pain, access to a medical support system has been taken away from them. Looking back to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers were forced to come up with treatment approaches in lieu of physically seeing patients. With restrictions put in place regarding doctors visits, elective surgeries and prescription medications, chronic pain patients have a limited set of medical interventions available to them right now.
Removing the mechanisms that pain sufferers use to control their pain is forcing these individuals to cope at home. It is a challenging and frustrating situation when a chronic pain sufferer does not have the ability to attend clinical appointments for treatments, such as receiving injections or picking up prescriptions for necessary medications. So many of these people also rely on services such as acupuncture, massage therapy, exercise services, physical therapy, and counseling to help them with pain management…and many of these services are unavailable right now.
Fortunately, some structure has been put in place as a response to the needs of this population. The strict regulations around opioid medications have been relaxed, making access easier. Other changes include extending the prescription duration and allowing for the use of Telehealth to evaluate patients without a physical examination. There are also helpful resources available online, such as tools that can teach patients how to perform exercises at home, clinical video visits, and support groups so patients can stay connected with others who are going through the same thing.
Iconic Infusions is the leading provider of ketamine for chronic pain and psychiatric conditions in Fayetteville, NC. Our clinic is open in limited capacity, and we are taking extra measures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. If your chronic pain has become more difficult to manage during this time of crisis, we encourage you to take advantage of our offer for a free consultation and find out if ketamine infusions are right for you.