Pain Management

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    About Pain Management

    Pain management is a method for recognizing and treating discomfort associated with a diagnosis, disease or treatment.

    Pain relief is an important part of your healthcare. It is important for your recovery and comfort. Controlling pain can help you get well faster. With less pain, you can regain your strength more quickly, and begin breathing exercises and resume walking sooner.

    What You Can Do

    Learn to use the pain management scale to score your pain. Reporting your pain as a number helps the healthcare worker understand how well your pain medication is working.

    Ask about a plan for pain control.

    Take or ask for pain relief medication when the discomfort first begins.

    If you know your pain will worsen when you begin an activity or breathing exercise, take pain medication first.

    It is easier to prevent serious pain than to lessen it after it has taken hold.

    Learn alternative ways to supplement pain relief such as positioning, relaxation techniques, self hypnosis, biofeedback, and therapeutic touch.

    Often, it is not realistic to expect to be totally pain free; however, a satisfactory level of comfort can be expected.

    Pain Management Scale


    Slow Rhythmic Breathing for Relaxation

    1. Breathe in slowly and deeply.
    2. As you breathe out slowly, feel yourself beginning to relax; feel the tension leaving your body.
    3. Breathe in and out slowly and regularly, at whatever rate is comfortable for you. You may wish to try abdominal breathing. If you are not familiar with abdominal breathing, ask your nurse to explain it to you.
    4. To focus on your breathing and to breathe slowly and rhythmically: breathe in and out as you silently count "in, two, three...out, two three" or each time you breathe out, silently say a word such as peace or relax.
    5. You may want to imagine that you are doing this in a place that is very calming and relaxing for you, such as the beach.
    6. Steps 1 through 4 may be done only once. However, if you want, steps 3 and 4 may be repeated for up to 20 minutes.
    7. End with a slow deep breath. As you breathe out say to yourself, "I feel alert and relaxed."

    Other Suggestions

    If you plan to do this for more than a few seconds, try to find a comfortable position in a quiet place. You may close your eyes for focus on an object. This breathing exercise may be used for only a few seconds or for up to 20 minutes.

    From: McCaffery, M. and Beebe, A. (1999), Pain: Clinical Manual for Nursing Practice. St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Company.

    For more information on Chronic Pain Management, click here.

    For additional information, please call (631) 444-4000.