Living in uncertain times presents new challenges for everyone as we learn to adapt our everyday routines and lifestyle to our “new normal”. However, those with chronic pain can be uniquely challenged by the new reality created by COVID-19. The additional stress brought on by the pandemic can worsen existing pain, and restricted access to healthcare can make managing chronic pain difficult.
While we’re all doing our best to adapt to our new normal, it’s important to continue to care for your health and reach out for support. There are a few ways you can manage pain at home and make life feel less stressful while facing these new challenges.
Going through stressful periods can exacerbate existing issues with chronic pain. This can be due to psychological distress, lack of sleep, poor diet, less exercise, muscle tension, and lower immunity due to stress. It’s important to practice healthy habits and self-care when dealing with pain, especially during challenging times. Light exercise, such as yoga, walking, stretching, and swimming, can help your body release tension by relaxing your muscles and promoting better mental health. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can also be a positive forms of stress management to alleviate feelings of pain and tension.
Accessing healthcare has been a challenge during COVID-19 and many patients have had their in-person therapies, appointments, and surgeries put on hold. However, it’s important to know that you’re not alone during this time. Telehealth is a convenient and safe way to access some of your regular medical professionals and therapies from home. Many medical professionals have adapted their practices to offer virtual services and consultations. Connect with your healthcare providers to see what virtual options are available to help you manage pain and receive care.
This may be an opportune time to expand your healthcare services and consider new forms of therapy. You may want to look into other healthcare options to help you manage pain, such as counselling, pain management therapy, and recreational therapy. If it’s an option in your area, in-person physiotherapy and massage therapy sessions could be helpful. If those options are unavailable to you or you need to remain at home due to a compromised immune system, consider virtual counselling sessions, or online mediation and yoga classes.
More Options for Pain Management: Surgery To Relieve Pain During COVID-19
Living is with chronic pain due to a health condition can severely impact your ability to live life to the fullest. While there are several forms of therapy available that can lessen feelings of pain, in some cases surgery is the best option to completely eliminate or dramatically reduce pain. These surgeries can include orthopedic and spine surgery, hernia surgery, and more.
It’s important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a backlog of elective surgeries throughout Canada. While many surgeries are considered ‘elective’ within the public healthcare system, these surgeries are often required by the patient to restore their health and relieve their pain. High demand for healthcare services means the average wait time between GP referral and most specialist treatment is 19.8 weeks in Canada.1 For specialties such as orthopedics, the average wait time is as long as 39 weeks.1 Once a consult is received, the delay between the consult and surgery can a year or longer. The current healthcare crisis due to the pandemic means those wait times are increasing further and Canadian hospitals are operating at a reduced capacity.2
However, there is an option to receive surgical care within the private healthcare system, so you can quickly access the care you need to resume your daily life.
Surgical Solutions Network Offers Private Care at Our Five Surgical Centres Across Canada to Expedite Your Healthcare
At Surgical Solutions Network, the wait time to see our specialists is usually less than a week, and surgery can often be arranged within a month. We offer Canadians the option to take control of their healthcare with private care from our fully accredited surgeons. From orthopedic surgery to hernia surgery, our accredited surgeons are available to provide the highest quality private care. Explore our full range of procedures and learn more about our five licensed surgical centres across Canada. If private care from Surgical Solutions Network may be the right choice for your healthcare needs, contact us today to arrange a consultation.