The capacity of the treatments allows patients with rheumatic conditions to dramatically reduce the pain they suffer from the disease.

Dr. Luis Cummings, expert in pain management during spinal surgery at the Damas de Ponce Puerto Rico Hospital.

The doctor Luis Cummings, a specialist in pain management explained to Medicine and Public Health the procedures available for patients with rheumatological conditions and the chronic pain that many of these suffer.

He indicated that in the XXI century it is not possible to think or believe that a patient should live with pain, since there are alternatives that mitigate and allow total relief.

In this case, he referred to ultrasound and fluoroscopy techniques, which in the expert’s opinion are transitory, since many patients go years without needing a new intervention, as do some who return after a few months.

“I tell the patient: I am going to see you again as long as you take care of yourself, because if I make the recommendation and solve your pain, but if you continue doing those activities that abuse the joint. Not everyone has the condition to undergo surgery and not everyone wants to operate ”, explained the specialist.

We have always been allies of all specialists, this is interdisciplinary, most are referred by rheumatologists, and most patients have other conditions in addition to arthritis.

The expert’s statements were given within the framework of Reuma Expo 2021, organized by the Foundation for Rheumatic Diseases (FER), an activity aimed at doctors and patients in Puerto Rico and the world.

Most used treatments, evolution and effectiveness

Dr Cummings explained that rheumatic patients tend to suffer from chronic pain in the affected areas, especially the joints of the body and in strategic areas of the spine. For this reason, he confirmed that the greatest advance in these types of conditions are medications or drugs that minimize the impact of joint pain in patients with arthritis.

He insisted that biological drugs help to block the inflammatory process and every day there are more, said the prominent doctor. However, he clarified that there are three levels of care for patients with chronic pain caused by arthritis:

1-. Medication. Drugs indicated to treat conditions that affect the joints of patients with different rheumatic diseases.

two-. Therapies. Physical therapies combined with medications help patients to have a normal and active lifestyle. These can be done with heat and cold techniques in the affected area accompanied by exercises.

3-. Surgeries. These include those mentioned by the doctor Luis Cummings, which contemplate less invasive techniques such as ultrasound and fluoroscopy.

When consulted about opioids, the specialist was emphatic in ensuring that the use of this is not recommended for rheumatic patients, but if it is consumed it cannot be for a time greater than six weeks.

“Opioids should not be used and if it is done, it should be under medical supervision and in a time no longer than six weeks to avoid dependence on them that end up affecting the health of the patient,” he explained.

Regarding the progress and effectiveness, the prominent doctor pointed out that efforts to avoid surgery in patients who do not require it and the use of other direct care methods are the best letter of presentation, since patient wear and tear is avoided. This can lead to a normal life without pain and with a minimum consumption of medications.

The importance of pain

He recalled that pain is a defense mechanism, but chronic pain ends up seriously affecting the body and especially the exposed organ, for that reason he insisted that in the presence of pain it is important to go to the specialist immediately to know what is it causing.

He added that these chronic pains can affect the central nervous system, producing psychological problems that can affect the life of the patient, which can even threaten his own life.

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