Pain Management Techniques
Ask your physician or nurses what to expect.
Will there be much pain after surgery? Where will it hurt? How long will it last?
- The amount or type of pain you feel may not be the same as others feel, even those who have similar medical conditions.
- Being prepared also helps put you in control. Write down your questions before you talk to your physician.
Discuss the pain control options with your physician and nurses.
- Tell them what pain control methods have worked for you in the past.
- Along with your medical team, develop a pain control plan that includes non-medicinal options such as massage, repositioning, heating, pillows, music, etc.
- Discuss any concern you may have about pain medication.
- Report allergies to any medications you may have.
- Ask about side effects that may occur with treatment.
- Talk with your physician and nurses about medication you take for other health problems.
Talk about the schedule for pain medication during your hospital stay.
- Receiving pain pills or shots at set times may help better keep your pain under control.
- Work with your medical team to create a pain control plan.
Take action as soon as the pain starts.
- If you know your pain will worsen when you begin physical activity, take your medicine before you begin. It is harder to ease pain once it has taken hold.
Help the physician and nurses "measure" your pain.
- They may ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain. Or you may choose a word from a list that best describes the pain.
- Reporting your pain as a number helps the medical team know how well your treatment is working and whether changes may be needed.
- You and your physician may also set a pain control goal, such as having no pain worse than a 2 on the 0 to 10 scale.
Tell the physician or nurses about any pain that won't go away.
- Pain can be a sign of a problem with your operation.
- The physician and nurses want and need to know about your pain.
- Stick to your pain control plan if it is working. If you are still having pain, your physician or nurse may want to change your medication, the dosage or when it is given to you.
Remember your pain and comfort are important to us. You can take an active role in your care by following the steps to RELIEF.
- Recognize and rate your pain.
Express your discomfort.
Learn your options for treatment.
Initiate a plan.
Evaluate your results.
Free yourself from pain.