Managing Pain

Patient in Hospital Bed Holds Hands With Woman

What is pain?

According to the International Association of the Study of Pain, it is defined as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage”

Pain can have a serious impact on your quality of life. It can effect your mood, cause you to lose sleep and can interfere with your daily activities. Pain is very subjective and it is important to recognize that no two people experience pain in the same way

Describing your pain

It is important to be able to describe your level of pain to your nurse so they may accurately be able to manage your comfort level. Think about these questions when trying to describe your pain:

  • Where is the pain located?
  •  When did it begin?
  • What does if feel like?
  • Is it continuous or does it occur on and off?
  • Does is stay in one area or does it move around?
  • Is is mild or severe?
  • Which best describes the pain: (e.g shooting, burning, stabbing, aching, etc)

You should also keep track of how your feel in order to be able to have an idea of progressions or regression of the pain.

Pain Scales

Members of your care team will use two different scales to better understand how you are feeling. This will allow them to be consistent in helping you feel better.

  1. On a scale from 1 to 10, 0 being no pain and 10 being unbearable pain, how do you feel?
  2. Which face describes how you are feeling ?

Keep Track of How You Feel

You should also keep track of how your feel in order to be able to have an idea of progressions or regression of the pain.