Management of “pain”
Steps to undertake when experiencing “pain”
Determine the cause(s) of “pain”
For every pain that you experience, there is a cause or set of causes. Initially, by yourself, you may be able to determine the cause or causes. However, if you have a hard time doing it, then you need to consult a medical doctor who will help you find out your problem and prescribe you with the necessary medication(s).To help your medical doctor, pay attention to the details of your pain. You should fully describe it in terms of location, time of occurrences, intensity, aggravating and relieving circumstances, and whether it stays in one location or spreads to other area(s).
Have the necessary rest
If your leg or knee, for instance, is painful, you need to have rest. If you have scheduled gym sessions, you need to forego those activities for the moment. If you need to go out to buy something, probably it is better that you stay home and do it on a day that your aching part is no longer painful. There are times when your knees are painful because you are overdoing a certain activity, like running on a concrete road! While in pain, have rest.
Take your medications as prescribed
By the mouth
When you experience pain and you have decided to take analgesic(drug to relieve pain), it is advisable that you take it (them) by mouth. It is easier to do it; you can do it by yourself. In addition, the occurrence of side-effects is lesser because the entry of the said medication(s) to your systems is not as fast as when you use injectable drugs.
By the clock
If you were prescribed with a medication which should be taken every six hours, then take it every six hours. If you missed one dose at a certain time, then you will lack certain amount of the medication in your system, and you will experience the so-called breakthrough pain (BP). After you have been free from pain for several days or months, BP all of a sudden takes place because you lack the necessary medication(s). To prevent this, takeit (them) as prescribed and as scheduled.
By the ladder
The World Health Organization (WHO) prescribes that the medication(s) to be used in treating pain should be selected based on the strength of the drug. In this method, medications for pain are categorized into the following: (1) non-opioid, (2) opioid drugs for mild to moderate pain, and (3) opioid drugs for moderate to severe pain. Based on WHO’sprescription—which is otherwise called as the “by the ladder” method—the first drug to be used should come from the non-opioid group, which include the paracetamol, acetaminophen, aspirin, and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The opioid medications should only be used, and reserved, forpain that cannot be controlled by the non-opioid drugs.
For the individual
Whatever dose of medicine you need, it is only good for you. It cannot be used by another person, for everyone inpain needs individualized dosage.
With attention to detail
Pain treatmentrequires great attention to details. This means that you need to take note of when the pain occurs, what are the aggravating and palliating circumstances, the duration when it occurs, and other details that may help you and your attending physician. The correct determination of your medical problem—relatively dependent on what you tell the medical doctor—is of utmost importance because the ensuing medical management will highly depend on it.
(To be continued)
United States. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Clinical Practice Guideline, Number 9, Management of Cancer Pain, Rockville, March 1994.