According to a report, about 50 million (20.4%) American adults had chronic pain, while 19.6 million (8%) experienced high-impact chronic pain. Sadly, researchers and doctors are discovering that painkillers, including over-the-counter medications and potent opioids, may not lessen specific kinds of chronic pain or enhance the quality of life. However, technological advancements have helped make chronic pain treatments more effective, affordable, and accessible.
With the help of technology, chronic pain sufferers can track physical symptoms as they happen, recognize environmental factors that impact pain levels, spot early depression and anxiety warning signs, and more. Here are five ways pain management has advanced with technology.
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT)
EPAT, also called shockwave therapy, is a non-invasive treatment alternative for relieving pain associated with most musculoskeletal conditions, including tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, frozen shoulder, and carpal tunnel syndrome. This solution is FDA-approved, doesn’t have downtime, needs no anesthesia, and doesn’t leave scars.
EPAT treatment utilizes acoustic pressure or shock waves to improve blood circulation while speeding up recovery. It can effectively address chronic and acute pain, including knee, foot, heel, hamstring, ankle, back, shoulder, neck, hand, elbow, and wrist pain. Sports injury-related pain can also be handled using EPAT.
Telemedicine, also known as telehealth, is a distinctive care model for chronic pain patients. It consists of virtual visits through phone, chat, or video. Chronic pain sufferers experience extra barriers when looking for medical care. Taking an hour or two seated in a vehicle may worsen the pain. With telemedicine, physical medical visits are reduced because people with chronic pain can manage it from anywhere.
While in-person appointments may be essential for injections, this treatment option does great for other procedures, including follow-ups or pain assessments. A telemedicine service can address chronic pain conditions, including lower back, nerve damage, arthritis, cancer-related pain, migraine or facial pain, and pelvic or belly pain.
Pain management mobile apps
Chronic and acute pain can significantly burden healthcare systems, employers, and individuals. People suffering from acute pain need careful treatment to avoid pain medication abuse, especially opioids, and to avert chronic pain development. With chronic pain management apps, sufferers can make things a little easier.
Mobile applications assist in monitoring patients with chronic or acute pain and may educate and support them in pain management by providing pain coping strategies, detecting analgesics’ adverse effects early, or changing analgesics dosage.
Virtual reality for pain management
A VR system for pain management is meant for home use. It has a controller and a VR headset with an attached breathing amplifier for directing a sufferer’s breath to the microphone for deep breathing exercises. This device’s virtual reality program utilizes established behavioral therapy principles, like immersive enjoyment, deep relaxation, self-compassion, attention-shifting, and more, to address psychological pain symptoms and help relieve pain via skill-based treatment plans. When combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, immersive VR can help reduce pain intensity.
Implantable technology is often reserved for circumstances where less invasive strategies are restricted by the side effects or are proven ineffective and chronic pain situations. Spinal pump technology, peripheral nerve stimulation, and spinal cord stimulators are implantable devices for severe pain management.
Chronic pain can be challenging to manage. However, pain management has advanced with technology. Use these tips to control chronic or acute pain.