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Pain and Pain Management
What is Pain?
• whatever the person experiencing pain says it
is, existing whenever the person
communicates or demonstrates (voluntarily or
involuntarily) it does
• an unpleasant sensory and emotional
experience associated with actual or potential
tissue damage or described in terms of such
Acute pain:
• pain of less than 12 weeks duration or pain that occurs during
the expected period of healing
Acute pain begins suddenly and is usually sharp.
It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body.
May be caused by many events or circumstances, including:
Broken bones
Dental work
Burns or cuts
Labour and childbirth
Chronic pain:
Persists despite an injury having healed.
Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months or years.
Physical effects-
Emotional effects-
Chronic pain
Physical effectstense muscles,
limited mobility,
lack of energy,
changes in appetite.
Emotional effectsdepression
Fear of re-injury
• Common sources of chronic pain include:
Low-back pain
Cancer pain
Arthritis pain
Neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves)
Psychogenic pain (pain not attributable to past disease or
injury, or to any visible sign of interior damage)
• Chronic pain may derive from an initial trauma/injury or
infection. Alternatively, there may be an ongoing cause of
pain. However, some people suffer chronic pain in the
absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage
Pain Scale-How sore are you??
Pain management:
Depending on its severity, pain may be treated in a number of ways.
Options may include one or more of the following:
Drug treatments: non-prescription medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, or
stronger options such as morphine, codeine or an anaesthetic.
Nerve blocks (blocking a group of nerves with local anaesthetics)
Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, relaxation and biofeedback
Electrical stimulation
Psychological counselling
Behaviour modification
Some pain medicines are more effective at fighting pain when they are combined with
other methods of treatment. You may need to try various methods to maintain optimal
pain relief.