Untreated pain can greatly reduce individuals’ quality of life and even cause them to give up on living. Yet – in most cases – even severe discomfort can be managed if doctors, patients, and caregivers communicate with one another.
Hospice of the Prairie & Prairie Home Health offers the following tips for good pain management:
- Start early. When diagnosed with a serious illness, patients should ask their doctors how any pain will be managed. Examples of medical interventions include medication, surgery and nerve blocks. There are also non-medical techniques such as relaxation therapy and massage.
- Speak out. It’s important for patients to let caregivers know how they are feeling. Many people find it helpful to rate their pain on a scale of 0 to 10.
- Be specific. Describe how the pain affects everyday activities. Think about what times of the day it becomes better or worse.
- Find the right balance. Some people would rather endure higher levels of pain if it means they will be more alert. Everyone has a different threshold.
- Follow the plan. The goal of a good pain management plan is to prevent a person from experiencing pain. Once they are in pain, it usually requires higher levels of medication to restore comfort.
For information on pain management, call Hospice of the Prairie & Prairie Home Health at 620-227-7209.