Pain management is a collection of medical procedures aimed at relieving or eliminating pain in patients. Pain is basically an unpleasant or painful sensation that arises from damage to body tissues, and can have an impact physically and emotionally.
Pain appears as a system that protects the body from further tissue damage, or from activities that can cause bodily damage. By its nature, pain can be either acute or chronic pain. As for its intensity, pain can be felt as mild or severe pain.
Acute pain arises suddenly, and usually the cause can be clearly known. Chronic pain arises over a long period of time. Usually chronic pain will be felt in a few weeks or months. Chronic pain often arises due to a condition or disease suffered by the patient.
Sometimes to give maximum results, a person can undergo more than one type of pain management method. This is because pain often involves many aspects of the patient’s daily life.
Pain Management Goals
Pain management will be provided when a patient feels significant or prolonged pain. The medical team will evaluate, rehabilitate, and help patients who feel pain.
Ideally, pain management is carried out according to the patient’s condition. But sometimes, the application is hampered by the resources owned by the hospital.
The objectives of pain management are:
- Reduce the pain felt by the patient
- Improves the function of a diseased part of the body
- Improving quality of life.
These three pain management objectives are continuously and closely related. Innovation and technology in the medical field also help the implementation of advanced medical management.
Pain Management Techniques
In pain management, there are four techniques that can be used, among others:
It is a pain reduction technique by stimulating the skin to relieve pain. Some techniques for skin stimulation include:
- Cold compress
- Analgetic ointments
- Counterirritant, like a warm plaster
- Contralateral stimulation, which is a skin massage on the opposite area to the painful area.
It is a pain reduction technique by turning attention to other things so that awareness of the pain is reduced. Distraction techniques can be done by:
- Slow and rhythmic deep breath
- Massage and slow, rhythmic breathing
- Rhythmic singing and tapping
- Active listening
- Guided imagery (the power of the client’s imagination can be by listening to soft music)
It is a reduction technique performed by nurses by providing information that can prevent misinterpretation of events that can cause pain and help understanding what is expected. Information provided to clients includes
- Causes of pain
- The process of occurrence of pain
- Duration and quality of pain
- The severity of the pain
- Location of pain
- Information about the security to be provided to the client
- Methods that nurses use with clients to reduce pain
- Things the client expects during the procedure.
Relaxation techniques are especially effective for chronic pain and provide several advantages, among others:
- Relaxation will decrease anxiety associated with pain or stress.
- Lowers pain
- Helping individuals to forget pain
- Improves rest and sleep periods
- Improves the effectiveness of other pain therapies
- Lowering feelings of helplessness and depression arising from pain.
Stewart (1976: 959), advocated several relaxation techniques, among others as follows:
- The client breathes deeply and holds it inside the lungs
- Slowly remove the air and feel the body become saggy and feel how comfortable it is
- The client breathes to a normal rhythm for some time
- The client takes a deep breath, back and takes it out slowly, at this point, let the soles of the feet relax. The nurse asks the client to concentrate the thoughts on his feet that feel light and warm.
- Repeat the above steps and concentrate the mind on the arms, abdomen, back and other muscle groups.
- Once the client feels relaxed, the client is recommended to breathe slowly. When the pain becomes severe the client can breathe superficially and quickly.