Chronic pain impairs productivity

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dr. Sa’ad Budijono, Sp.FKR
dr. Sa’ad Budijono, Sp.FKR. Photo: MOH RIDWAN MEURAKSA HOSPITAL

Jakarta, IO – Pain is the primary driver for patients looking for health solutions. Chronic pain , persistent, suffered constantly often over a long period of time, is an outpatient complaint frequently found in health facilities, customarily handled by nerve specialists. The Global Pain Index Report 2020 reported that out of the 19,000 respondents in their study, 93% complain of suffering from pain, and a full third of respondents feel some sort of pain every day. One of every five chronic pain patients is younger than 30. Chronic pain definitely lowers productivity and causes additional psychological suffering. 

“Pain may occur in any part of the body – the neck, the arms, legs, feet, back – whether upper or lower back. Musculoskeletal problems, i.e. pain in the muscles, bones, and joints, is frequently caused by bad posture when sitting down to work and/or lack of physical activity. More specifically, lower back pain is a chronic neuropathic type, difficult to handle,” said dr. Sa’ad Budijono, Moh. Ridwan Meuraksa Hospital Jakarta’s physical therapy and rehabilitation specialist, in the “Solutions for Independent Pain Mitigation Amid the Pandemic” webinar held by PT Omron Healthcare Indonesia on Thursday (17/03/2022). 

Pain is both subjective and objective, and it can indicate damage in bodily tissues. It is called the fifth vital sign, one that needs to be monitored, after blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and temperature. “Baseline Health Research 2018 data reports that according to medical workers’ diagnoses, the prevalence of pain caused by musculoskeletal problems is 11.9%, while pain caused by or as symptom of illnesses is 24.7%. Such high prevalence shows that pain management is still a great issue among most people. Taking an oral painkiller is usually the first aid measure for sufferers, but not all patients find this solution suitable, because of allergies and side effects,” dr. Sa’ad said. 

For such people, getting physiotherapy or relaxation therapy is best. “But not for broken bones, which will only make it worse. Furthermore, with the continued raging of the pandemic, it is actually quite a risky move to make. Independent pain therapy at home is the best choice for pain sufferers who want to evade Covid-19. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be effective against acute pain, whether in the muscles or the joints. It is safe, as it activates the nerve cells under the skin using low-voltage electricity, which stops the effects of pain all the way to the central nervous system.” 

TENS’ Three-Pronged Method 

TENS is outfitted with pads that can cover both sides of the pain point, whether located in the neck, shoulder, arm, leg, foot, back, hip, knee, or elbow. “It works in three fronts: it blocks pain, releases endorphin and serotonin to alleviate pain, and it stimulates blood flow through the blood vessels. It can serve as a self-massage tool that you can set for specific durations, a.k.a. tailor-made. Usually, it takes only 10 minutes’ of medium charge three times a day to show results. This customization of duration and power differentiates it from a traditional transdermal patch, which contains chemicals extracted from capsaicin. Its dosage is general, its intensity cannot be regulated, and it is topical,” he declared. 

However, the therapy should not be used on children without adult supervision, pregnant women, cancer patients, persons suffering from open wounds, or persons with metal or electronic implants. “To prevent pain from occurring in the first place, everyone should move routinely by taking up safe, mild exercise like walking or biking. You can even join biking or walking communities, a move that will bring more joy and pleasure as well as gaining new friends. However, make sure to abide by health protocols properly,” he added. (est)