Could Telemedicine Improve Chronic Pain Treatment?

Could Telemedicine Improve Chronic Pain Treatment?

There are so many advantages that come from telemedicine; patients in rural areas have access to a physician and information can be directly sent to a patient’s home. Communicating via wireless Internet and computer screens does take away from the physical connection that patients have with their doctors, which is sometimes an essential part in the healing process.

The Boston Globe recently released an article, “Telemedicine may ease chronic pain,” which uncovers Internet monitoring systems that could actually improve patients’ chronic conditions based off a study from the Journal of the American medical Association.

At American Spine, Dr. Sial, Dr. Kelling, and Dr. Fisher believe that physically communicating with patients is just as important as verbally communicating. Though telemedicine is advantageous for providing care to patients in rural areas, it certainly should not become the standard of medicine. With four locations in California, American Spine is the leading pain management facility on the west coast.

According to researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine, 250 participants, all of who were diagnosed with chronic musculoskeletal pain, were split into two groups. One group received telecare, while the other standard care from their PCP at a VA medical center.

One year after the study, researchers determined:

  • The telecare group were “nearly twice as likely to report a 30% improvement in their pain compared with those who received standard care
  • The telecare group participants were more likely to report feelings of satisfaction pertaining to their treatment
  • The standard care group participants were more apt to report feelings of worse pain after 6 months

Researchers determined that phone calls or Internet monitoring to tailor care could help patients suffering from a chronic condition.

While telemedicine is promising in medical policies, the physicians at American Spine greatly value the face-to-face interactions and quality time spent with our patients.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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