“It got worse every day.”
Chronic pain. Debilitating migraines. PTSD. This is one patient’s life. The Washington Post reports that, as bad as life with pain can be, it may become much worse during a pandemic. For this particular patient, due to COVID-19 a scheduled surgery was canceled, as were appointments with providers. Not only did the lack of services increase pain, social isolation did, too. Dr. Sean Mackey authored an article on the impact of social isolation. He commented, “It is an underappreciated aspect of chronic pain. We lose sight of the fact that we are social creatures by nature. We want to make medicine so much about the structure and function of the person. But all of it is influenced by our social connectedness.” Dr. Mackey is a professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center, and has presented at the PAINWeek National Conference. He continued, “We tend to think all we need to do is figure out where the problem is — the back, spine or leg — and treat it, but it’s so much more complicated than that.”
Though the impact of COVID has lessened in the United States, many people are electing not to receive the vaccine, and isolation will still play a part in pain management. Dr. Mackey’s article concluded that, “Therapeutic interventions aimed at increasing social connection hold merit in reducing the impact of pain on engagement with activities.” That is something to keep in mind for future practitioner/patient interactions.
Read the newspaper article.
Read the original study.
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the PAINWeek Newsletter
and get our latest articles and more direct to your inbox