It Happened to Us All: The Pandemic's Impact on Central Sensitization and Chronic Pain
In response to the March 11, 2020, World Health Declaration of COVID-19 as a global health pandemic, the US announced travel restrictions, social distancing guidelines, and allocated the ordering of masks and stay-at-home orders to the governors of each of the 50 states. Local businesses and schools turned to remote work and most Americans found themselves isolated at home. Americans were generally socially isolated, inactive, overeating, and/or using more substances. Further, mental health and sleep-wake cycles were impacted, and COVID-related barriers in healthcare had adverse consequences, especially for those individuals who live with chronic pain conditions. As a result, pain clinics in the US experienced an increase in widespread pain complaints. The stressors of the pandemic, including difficulty in obtaining care, may have been particularly impactful in those who experience central sensitization. There is also evidence demonstrating that COVID-19 infections may intensify symptoms in people diagnosed with pre-existing central sensitization. Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to review the concept of central sensitization, its symptoms, predisposing factors, and treatments available in the time of COVID-19. Conventional medical therapy is fairly ineffective for these cases and tends to result in frustrated practitioners and dissatisfied patients. As a result, healthcare professionals involved in the treatment of pain with central sensitization are always looking to add adjunct treatments that have been demonstrated to be effective, safe, and non-invasive. The ideal treatment for central sensitization is one that is supportive and validating and is multifaceted. An alternative to consider is electrical stimulation therapy which can be used by a patient at home during a pandemic lock down.
- Review the concept of central sensitization and the pandemic's effect.
- Learn about the symptoms and predisposing factors to central sensitization
- Outline the different treatment options that are available in the time of COVID-19
- 1.00 AANP
- 1.00 ACCME (All Other)
- 1.00 ACCME (MD/DO Only)
- 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
- 1.00 ANCC
- 1.00 APA