Ease Your Pain

Pain Concept.More than 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Each year another 25 million experience acute pain from injury or surgery. Although pain can be greatly eased with pain management, it frequently goes untreated, under treated or improperly treated.

Failure to adequately manage pain can lead to sleep disturbance, decreased physical activity, stress, and disability. Pain can delay recovery from injury or surgery.

Most hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities are now required to assess and treat pain. Patients must be informed of their right to effective pain management care. There are now pain management standards set by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

Facts about pain:
1.Pain is NOT something you “have to live with”.
2.Not all doctors know how to treat pain.
3.Pain medications do NOT have to cause addiction.
4.Pain medications do NOT necessarily have side effects.
5.You may prevent or limit chronic pain by prompt treatment of acute pain.
6. New pain treatment options are always being introduced.
7. Pain management is NOT just prescription medication but includes over the counter remedies, non-drug therapies and techniques.
8. Cancer pain CAN be managed effectively.

Tips for Effective Communication with your Doctor about Pain:
1.Speak up!
2.Tell where you hurt.
3.Rate your pain severity on a 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain) scale.
4.Describe what makes your pain better and worse.
5. Characterize your pain using adjectives like sharp, dull, burning, throbbing, aching, constant, intermittent, aching, stabbing, deep or superficial.
6.Explain how the pain affects your daily life.
7. Tell about your previous pain treatments including medications, injections, over the counter products, supplements, surgeries, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, as well as heat or cold treatment.

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