Your Pain Management Lineup
The key to attracting and keeping clients is product choice. What offerings should be on your roster of pain management solutions?
- By David Kopf
- Nov 19, 2019
There is a wide variety of pain management patients and clients that suffer a wide variety of conditions that HME providers can help address. Also, no two clients need exactly the same paint management solution. Referral partners and patients will have specific desires when it comes to which solutions will be right.
So, an HME business must ensure it offers a decent spectrum of pain management offering. Let’s take a look at some of the broad categories that a provider specializing in pain management products should offer:
Compression. A familiar product category to most HME providers, compression is often used to help treat diabetic patients and elderly patients with venous diseases, as well as wound care lymphedema patients. However, compression, typically using wraps, can also help with pain management by reducing swelling and promoting circulation.
Orthopedic Braces. Another bedrock HME category, orthopedic braces provide the kind of support that many injuries need to recover. Moreover, that support helps diminish pain through stabilizing a part of the body that has been injured and limiting motion, which in turn limits inflammation.
TENS Units. Standing for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, TENS devices use electrodes attached to the user’s skin via adhesive pads. The electrodes send electrical impulses that flood the user’s nerves and make it hard for the nervous system to transmit pain signals.
Because they are so small in size, TENS units can be worn discreetly and used by patients throughout the day. These units have controls that let the user control the intensity of the stimulation, the frequency of the stimulation (impulses per second), and duration (in milliseconds) of each pulse.
EMS Devices. Standing for electrical muscle stimulation, EMS devices might seem similar to TENS units in terms of their format — a small device with electrodes connected to adhesive pads that users attach to their skin — but that’s where the similarity ends.
EMS devices are designed to stimulate muscles so that they contract. The result is that blood flow is increased to the area, which reduces inflammation. The devices can also be used to reduce muscle spasms.
Hot and Cold Therapy. There are various products that use ether heat or cold to reduce pain. Heat tends to relax sore muscles and joints, while cold helps numb pain and reduce inflammation. The available products range from simple heat packs and cold packs, to specialized devices that pump hot or cold water to special wraps or sleeves that are placed around the part of the body feeling pain. Furthermore, there are hot and cold therapy products that also integrate compression so that they provide multiple pain management benefits.
Over-the-counter medications. Obviously, we’re all very familiar with over-the counter pain killers and anti-inflammatory products. This includes topical products, such as creams and lotions, as well as pills ranging from aspirin to Ibuprofen.
CBD Products. CBD is one of the compounds called cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. The cannabinoid most everyone has heard of is THC, the psychoactive component in recreational marijuana. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the cannabinoid often used in managing chronic pain, insomnia and anxiety. Using CBD to manage pain is analogous to using an over-the-counter pain killer; the pain is simply diminished and there is no “high.”
CBD products are sold in varying dosages that might or might not contain very small percentages of THC, as well. The products range from tinctures taken under the tongue, capsules, gummies and lotions. Depending on what state a provider is in, it can sell it on a retail basis.
David Kopf is the Publisher HME Business, DME Pharmacy and Mobility Management magazines. He was Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy from 2008 to 2023. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.