The Spine Center of Southeast GA > Blog & Patient Education > Uncategorized > Caring for Pain During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Caring for Pain During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Like some of you reading this story, just a few years ago, a patient suddenly found himself faced with the rapid onset of pain.  Integrated with the effective medical care he immediately began receiving from specialists, the patient also believed that simple changes in his lifestyle would help with his condition. Quickly removing the obvious stressors from his life including poor eating habits along with long worrisome days on the job with no time for exercise, his pain levels were soon reduced. Today he shares his story with many, while he continues to live a quality life where pain is not the first thought that enters his mind each morning.

Today, maybe you’re finding the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) stressful. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions that potentially result in a physical response or worsening of pain symptoms. Coping with stress in the proper manner will help you, and the people you care about feel stronger at this time.

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Feeling socially isolated
  • Changes in your sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems, or acute and chronic pain
  • Worsening of mental health conditions

Research has shown that relaxation of the mind and body can decrease some of the hyperactivity of the nerve system responsible for pain.

Combat fear & panic:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to current news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed by company at home, take some personal downtime in a quiet room to read a book or listen to music
  • If you find yourself immersed in negative thoughts, try letting them go by making a conscious effort to redirect them to something positive

Take care of your body:

  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco
  • Exercise regularly, even if a brief walk while social distancing, or gardening in your yard
  • Stretch your body, to help improve circulation and reduce stiffness
  • Pace yourself, to avoid exhaustion when taking on physically demanding home projects
  • Get plenty of sleep, and if you wake, avoid picking up your phone which makes it harder to fall back to sleep

Tips to minimize pain at home:

  • Try a comfortably hot shower or bath for some soothing relief
  • The use of cold packs can help relieve pain or inflammation
  • Try self-massage, to stimulate circulation or improve sleep