The impact of COVID on chronic pain.
There are three different groups of people that have been affected by COVID. Firstly, you might have contracted the virus and as a direct result of it, now experience symptoms. These include ongoing body pains, fatigue, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, depression, grief, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder.
Another group are those who might already have a chronic pain condition that now gets worsened due to the restrictions that occur due to the pandemic. These may include a loss of access to medication, medical care, and financial restrictions which might be a barrier to receiving care. The social isolation, loss or change in routine, and inactivity during isolation can have a negative impact on pain, frequently resulting in an increase in pain. There is also the emotional burden that COVID has, e.g., fear for your health and your friends’ and family’s health, grief from losing loved ones, feeling anxious about your future which will further worsen your pain.
The third group are those who have never had COVID or a chronic pain condition but due to the emotional toll that this pandemic has on you, you now develop a chronic pain condition. Depression, anxiety, trauma, chronic sleeplessness can all lead to chronic pain if left untreated.
As a team we can help in several ways. Our occupational therapists can assist you in pacing yourself during the day and managing your routine more effectively. This can be especially helpful for those of you who battle to create a boundary between work and home when you are working from home.
Our psychologists can assist in working through your grief and trauma caused by the losses experienced during COVID. These losses may not necessarily be the death of a loved one.
Our physiotherapists can assist you with strategies to manage your pain as well as assist with breathing techniques if you are experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath.
Our dietician can assist with dietary advice, whether it is healthy eating to help manage your stress, to get better control of your blood pressure or diabetes as well as dietary modification which will assist in decreasing inflammation.
Our psychiatrist can assist with helping you manage your insomnia, depression, and anxiety as well as with pain management strategies.