Since pain is a common symptom that can be successfully controlled, one of the most important aspects health providers need to focus on for patient-care is pain management. The best management of pain is aggressive therapy with constant assessment so that any patient in pain can learn to maintain his/her quality of life. In this light, interviewing the patient regarding his/her pain should always be the primary source of information that health professionals should use to assess and control pain successfully. Here, the ultimate goals are to manage pain, prevent or minimize side effects and to enhance the quality of life. Health care providers should challenge themselves to understand the causes of the pain, perform a comprehensive assessment, select the most appropriate drug/medication and nondrug interventions, and evaluate the patient's progress to these treatments under close supervision and monitoring.

Healthcare professionals caring for pain-ridden patients should delve into the patients concerns by asking about the pain’s onset, location, quality, intensity, numerical rating scale (0-10), frequency, aggravating and relieving factors, previous treatments, relief with current treatment, side effects from current treatment. Further, health professionals should find out regarding the following:

• Other factors that influence the management of pain.
• Effect of pain on patient and family members/significant others.
• Meaning of pain to patient and family/significant others.
• Usual coping strategies for pain and other stressors.
• Mood states.
• Effect of pain on sleep and fatigue.
• Concern about addiction and side effects of medication.
• Concern about costs of treatment.

Using information derived from these, health care professionals are expected to practice due diligence in selecting the best approach to each patient’s pain management program whether they be with the implementation of ingested or introduced medications, surgical – including the pain management that comes during surgery and maintenance thereafter, radiation therapy in cases where tumors are involved or non-drug pain treatments.

Non-drug therapies may also be helpful in treating pain and improving the patient's ability to perform normal activities. These therapies include relaxation, imagery, distraction, heat and cold therapy, massage, hypnosis, physical therapy, learning to position for comfort, learning coping skills, and emotional support and counseling. These therapies can be used in conjunction with pain medications and more than one non-drug pain therapy can be used at any one time.

As in any serious illness, the condition of the patients will affect the lives of not only the patients themselves but the patient’s circle of significant others as well. Because of this, it is important that health care providers be sensitive to this fact and include said members on the findings and recommended programs in order that such individuals are able to participate in the creation of an environment for the patient that will help alleviate pain in all areas possible and allow him/her to maintain a comfortable life. In this manner, the patient will not only be able to enhance his/her quality of life in the care of the health professionals, but also ultimately be able to cope with doing so on their own.

Author's Bio: 

Jill Magso is a member of the Silva Team and contributes to spreading enlightened ideas and sharing teachings about meditation practices. The Silva Method encompasses a variety of powerful exercises that take you deep into Alpha and Theta levels of the mind so that you can work within your subconscious as well as your conscious mind.