Chronic Pain (cont.)
Controlling Chronic Pain
It is not always possible to completely get rid of chronic pain. The patient's goal may be simply becoming able to perform more normal activities of daily living than before.
- The doctor may ask the patient to rate the pain on a scale from 1 to 10.
- It is also helpful to report whether it is possible to go to work, go shopping, exercise, sleep, or have sexual intercourse.
- Sometimes, the only measure of effectiveness of treatment is that a patient can do certain things that were not possible before the treatment started. This is what the doctor needs to know in order to make decisions about the patient's treatment.
- If nothing else works for the patient's pain and the doctor is unwilling to use opioids to control the pain, consider asking for a referral to a pain specialist or a pain clinic.
Medically reviewed by Jon Glass, MD; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology
The American Chronic Pain Association.
World Health Organization. WHO's pain ladder.
WebMD.com. Chronic Pain Management.
Previous contributing authors and editors: Author: Henry Farkas, MD, Medical Director, VNA of Maryland/Northern Chesapeake Hospice; Medical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine, Union Hospital of Cecil County.
Editors: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM, Research Director, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Steven L Bernstein, MD, Vice-Chair, Academic Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mt Sinai School of Medicine.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/19/2014
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