Has your chronic pain become worse during the COVID-19 quarantine? Social distancing and living in isolation, the safety measures governments have imposed during this public health crisis, might be worse for those with an underlying condition like chronic pain.
According to a study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, patients with chronic pain who become socially isolated may experience more pain interference, as well as lowered physical function. They may have more episodes of painful attacks, whether it’s from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or migraine.
Experts in pain management in Broward County came up with the following tips to help you manage chronic pain while in quarantine:
1. Warm and cold compresses are always handy
Warm and cold compresses can help reduce the pain. A warm compress can relax the muscles and increase the blood flow to the area to facilitate healing. A cold compress, on the other hand, can reduce inflammation, numb the area, and minimize pain. Alternating warm and cold, also known as contrast hydrotherapy, can help you manage chronic pain.
2. Don’t forget to do stretches
Make it a routine to do simple stretches every day. Not only will this help with body flexibility, but it will also help you relax when the pandemic is causing additional stress and anxiety.
With some consistency, your daily stretches will help prevent painful episodes, especially on the back. However, don’t push yourself too hard. Only do regular exercises when you can function. If you are in pain, don’t add unnecessary stress to your body.
3. Come up with a structure
This stay-at-home order may mess up your sleeping routine and eating schedule. You might begin to adopt a completely different schedule from what you usually did before. It’s still important, however, to stick to a routine and follow a structured plan, so you’ll also have regular, uninterrupted sleep.
A study published in the Society for Neuroscience cites that a person who does not get an adequate amount of quality sleep at night tends to experience more pain the following day. Apparently, lack of sleep can trigger the pain stimuli that activate the brain’s pain-sensing regions.
4. Set the alarm to perform regular movements
If you’ve been sitting or lying down for hours, you can cut this habit and set an alarm on your phone for you to move about. You don’t need to go anywhere for this since you’re in quarantine. A 5-10 minute indoor physical activity spaced out every 30 minutes should be fine.
Prolonged sitting or lying down can weaken the body. To prevent this, give yourself a signal to get up from the couch or the bed and get moving.
5. Make self-care a priority
Now is the best time to focus on self-care. In fact, because of the stay-at-home or social distancing orders, more people are doing activities that focus on self-care, such as journaling, making a gratitude list, or starting projects they have held off for so long. Use this time in quarantine to undertake activities that will take your mind off the pain, stress, or anxiety. Research shows that stress affects an individual’s perception of pain. Both stress and pain are subjective, and being stressed can trigger episodes of pain.
If these home management methods fail to work, consult our experts at Coastal Pain Medicine, an affordable pain clinic in Broward County that offers high-quality treatments. At Coastal Pain Medicine, we believe pain management is about much more than offering surgery or painkillers—it’s about getting to the root cause of the pain.
Learn more about Coastal Pain Medicine – pain clinic in Broward County
One-to-one compassionate care by pain management experts in Broward County is the standard of practice here, and step-by-step communication – from the initial consultation and throughout the treatment and rehabilitation process – allows our patients peace of mind and reassurance.
At Coastal Pain Medicine, our goal is to provide unparalleled patient care, returning you to an active, productive, and pain-free lifestyle. Book an appointment now. For inquiries, call us at 954-543-5100.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.