Treating and Managing Chronic Pain in Senior Populations
How orthotic devices can increase your bottom line and build your customer base
by Scott Fried

How do arthritis, diabetes, carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder and off-the-shelf (OTS) orthotic devices all combine for an HME provider money-making opportunity?

It is easier than you think. As a surgeon who has spent the past 30 years treating and healing patients, I have learned a powerful secret that could be highly valuable to your company.

OTS orthotic devices are a direct, effective and easy path to helping patients heal without the need for surgery, injections and harmful pain meds.

If you are a typical HME company, then you are probably servicing many patients with arthritis, diabetes or other chronic diseases. These maladies often force patients to deal with secondary issues such as carpal tunnel and frozen shoulder, and that means pain, loss of sleep and reduced quality of life.

As a surgeon, I have defined my mission of the past decade to put myself out of business. I began lecturing, writing books and talking to patients about what got them better. What I discovered was that more patients had success with pain relief through splints, orthotic devices and home therapy programs; tools such as TENS units, stimulators and massagers; as well as comprehensive patient education programs than from any surgery I could perform.

The cause of pain in carpal tunnel, arthritis and tendinitis is inflammation. Inflammation and swelling in the body puts pressure on the nerves and synovial lining in joints and sheaths, resulting in over stimulation of the pain fibers. Surgery comes with complications, pain, high costs and a recurrence rate of up to 30 percent. Other methods can calm this inflammation.

Let’s explore some myths surrounding the treatment of chronic pain from common sources.

Myth: Carpal tunnel and arthritis patients require surgery and injections.

Fact: Wrist neutral dynamic splints can prevent up to 70 percent of carpal tunnel and arthritis patients from undergoing surgery. Wrist neutral splints that can be custom molded to the patient, in the comfort of the home, usually by the patient and without physician assistance, and allow motion for daily life during the healing process.

Myth: Diabetes side effects such as frozen shoulder are not curable.

Fact: Using an OTS shoulder device that distributes the weight of the arm around the waist and additionally allows for abduction, treats these patients and gives them relief from pain.

Shoulder devices that offer the ability for intermittent abduction will decrease pain, allow motion for the activities of daily living and help patients to undo or even prevent frozen shoulder.

Now is the time to educate your patients whose lives you touch every day and empower them to be in charge of their own healing. Give your patients the answer to controlling their pain, calming inflammation, possibly reversing the course of disease and healing the damage caused by chronic pain.