Pain management – What to Know Before Your Surgery

Managing pain after surgery is an important undertaking that patients need to familiarise themselves with. Proper pain control will not only make patients more comfortable but can also aid with the recovery process. Pain management can also reduce the risk of complications such as blood clots forming. By following your doctor’s advice and making use of the best modern medicine has to offer, pain management is simpler than ever before.

The Importance of Pain Management

When your body is in pain for an extended period of time it is bound to take its toll both physically and mentally. Pain can prevent you from doing basic tasks and getting enough exercise. Depending on the surgery you received, you might be unable to perform strenuous activities. But in most cases, your doctor will advise you to perform less exerting activities, such as walking around, as soon as you feel comfortable. This helps to prevent muscle atrophy and promotes healing by stimulating blood flow. When you manage your pain effectively you will be able to walk around at an adequate time to speed up your recovery.

Pain can also have a negative effect on your mental well-being, especially prolonged pain that is localised in one place, such as a surgery site. Patients can experience anxiety, mood swings and even fall into depression if pain persists for too long. When the body is under so much stress it can lead to even more complications, that could have most likely been avoided. Your doctor will assess your pain levels and prescribe pain medication accordingly. Patients will also be required to disclose some of their medical history as well as any allergies they might have to ensure that they do not receive any medication that could be detrimental to their health.

Common Types of Pain Medications

Medication taken orally (by mouth):

These are any tablets, capsules, liquids or lozenges that you have to drink, swallow or chew. Most people will be familiar with this type of pain medication as there are many varieties that are available at pharmacies without the need for a prescription. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking any prescribed medication at home as an overdose or underdose can have negative effects.

Medication administered via a drip:

If a patient is in severe pain they might require an intravenous delivery of medication such as morphine, oxycodone or codeine. These are usually regulated by your doctor and are quite powerful painkillers. Another delivery method is knowns as patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), where a patient has some control over the administration of medication. The patient presses a button when their pain is too severe and a small dose of painkillers is delivered intravenously.