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Management of chronic pain by the doctor at the patient's home
To control pain, you need a personal plan that is effective for the patient and family.
When people indicate feeling pain, it usually means that a part of their body is experiencing an ailment or discomfort. However, it can also mean that they are not feeling well. They may feel general discomfort and not in a specific place. The pain may worsen if the person is anxious, sad, or depressed.
Even severe pain can be well controlled by combinations of oral medications. Pain medications are most effective if they are given on a set schedule before the pain gets worse. You will want to treat pain when it first starts and regularly after that. If the cause of the pain can be treated with other methods, the need for the medication will slowly decrease or disappear as you receive treatment for the cause.
Pain control can improve quality of life
If you or your family member experiences pain from a variety of causes (eg, cancer), this can be strenuous. This type of pain can keep you from doing the things you want or need to do. Although cancer pain (for example) is not always completely relieved, there are ways to reduce its intensity so that you can do many of your daily activities.
Even with pain medications delivered around the clock, pain often recurs between doses. Breakthrough pain may require a second medication that you can safely take in addition to the regular pain medication that you take. Don't be surprised if more than two medications are required to control your pain.
What the pain patient can do
- Talk to the doctor who treats your case: where it occurs, when it begins, how long it lasts, how you feel, what relieves it, what makes it worse and how much it affects your life.
- If the prescribed pain medications don't work as expected, tell the doctor who treats the case.
- Rate your pain intensity using a pain rating scale, where 0 means no pain and 10 represents the most severe pain. This will help you describe your pain to other people.
- Be sure to take the medication as directed. For chronic pain, medications should be given on time, rather than taken only when the pain is severe.
- As pain is relieved with medications, increase your level of physical activity.
- Do not wait for the pain to become severe before taking the other medicine for breakthrough pain (the one that comes unexpectedly between the doses you take for regular pain).
- Avoid discontinuing any of your medications suddenly, instead reduce the dose gradually as the pain decreases. Ask your treating doctor before doing so or if you have any questions.
- Some people feel nauseated even when taking the correct dose of pain medicine. If the medication causes discomfort, ask your treating doctor if it is possible to change it or use any medication to control nausea.
- Some pain medications cause drowsiness or dizziness. This is usually relieved after a few days, but may require help getting up or walking. Do not attempt to drive or do any potentially dangerous activity until you feel certain of the effects.
- People who receive pain medication are usually given laxatives or stool softeners to prevent constipation, which is a common side effect.
- Keep track of any other side effects you notice. Discuss this with the team handling the case.
- Do not crush or break your pills unless you check with the case management team. If the active ingredient in the medication is released gradually, taking broken pills can be dangerous.
- If medications don't keep pain under control, ask the caseworker about taking other steps.
- Have a supply of pain medication that lasts for at least a full week on hand. Most prescriptions for pain medicine cannot be refilled over the phone, so you will need a written prescription.
MedicoEnTuCasa has an internist who goes to the home to treat chronic pain in patients with mobility difficulties to a hospital or clinic.
Contact us by WhatsApp 0414.325.74.84.