Everyone at Gateway Regional Medical Center wants you to be as comfortable as possible. Please read this information for a better understanding of what we can do together to h
What Causes Pain?
Pain is caused by irritation to tissue or nerves.
- Irritation may come from many sources - burns, infection, swelling, disease, broken/injured bones and surgery.
- Once your nerves are irritated, they send a message to your brain causing you to feel pain.
Pain affects everything you do. It can interfere with sleeping, eating and participating in your care. Long-term pain can make you depressed and may leave you unable to do everyday activities.
- Pain makes muscles tense.
- Tension increases pain.
- Pain makes you tired and irritable.
- As pain increases, other symptoms may become worse.
- The longer the pain is untreated, the harder it is to control.
- In some instances, a small amount of pain may be useful to prevent other injury.
Talking About Pain
Your nurse or doctor may ask you some of the following questions to understand your pain and how to help you.
- Where on your body is your pain?
- How does you pain feel?
aching - pulling - pricking - burning - sharp
tingling - throbbing - dull - numb - pressing
- Is the pain always there, or does it come and go?
- What positions, activities, or situations make the pain worse? better?
- How has pain affected important parts of your life?
eating - moods - work - sleep - energy - relationships
- Do you have any symptoms in addition to pain?
weakness - nausea/vomiting - constipation
itching - sleepiness/confusion - problems with urination
- Have you taken any medication for pain?
- Have you tried any non-drug therapies for pain?
- What do you understand about your pain and its causes?
- Have you ever seen educational materials about pain?
You Have the Key to Pain Management!
Ask for pain medication when you hurt. Do not wait too long! Let staff know if you have side effects to pain medication, such as, nausea, vomiting and constipation. You will not become addicted to pain medication if you are in pain.
Other Things You Can Do to Help!
- Try to relax. Taking deep breaths and focusing on something or someone may help.
- Watch TV, listen to music or read.
- Ask the nurse if you may apply heat or cold. (We may need an order from the doctor).
- Change you position; ask for help if needed.
- Ask for pain medication when you feel you need it.
- Your doctor must order medication for you. The nurse will be happy to call and request it.
- Relax and think pleasant thoughts. Take deep breaths.
- Changing your position will sometimes help.