Chronic pain has a huge impact on people’s lives. It can disrupt a person’s sleep patterns, sexual activity, and capacity to work and carry out everyday tasks, as well as create emotional anguish and lead to major mental health disorders, such as depression.
Pain treatment aims to improve function and reduce suffering and distress while minimizing the risk of side effects. While it is unlikely to entirely eradicate chronic pain, it should be possible to reduce it to a bearable level and allow people to function normally.
While acute pain is frequently linked to a specific disease or damage process, chronic pain is more difficult to pinpoint. It’s not always possible to pinpoint the source of discomfort. This does not make the patient’s anguish any less real.
The patient-doctor connection
Patients with chronic pain benefit from a collaborative doctor-patient relationship that is built on mutual respect and includes two-way communication. Patients who have positive interactions with their doctors are happier with their treatment. A doctor can promote a positive doctor-patient relationship in numerous ways:
- Take the patient’s problem seriously and empathize with them. Pain can be quantified on a quantitative, visual, or verbal scale, despite the fact that it is a very subjective feeling. You can also get information on a patient’s discomfort by asking them to keep a pain journal.
- Maintain a cheerful and upbeat attitude during discussions.
- When the patient has already been fully studied, resist the desire to schedule investigations; they are unlikely to disclose anything new and may only serve to distract patients from accepting responsibility for their pain management.
- Educate your patient about chronic pain and how to treat it, as well as any unreasonable expectations they might have.
- Discuss what you know and don’t know about the patient’s pain situation with them. Respond to any inquiries that your patient might have. If you don’t know the answers to all of your patient’s queries, be honest.
- Give your patient enough information about their treatment options, including the benefits and drawbacks of each.
Because chronic pain is often managed by a team of medical and allied health specialists, some patients may be perplexed. To avoid this, it is critical that the patient has a single primary care doctor – someone who is knowledgeable about the patient’s medical history and can coordinate the patient’s comprehensive medical care.
How to Evaluate Pain
Successful pain management requires accurate pain assessment. A pain evaluation informs treatment decisions and serves as a benchmark against which to compare a patient’s progress over time.
The physical examination is simply one part of the pain evaluation process. The most trustworthy markers of pain severity or intensity are self-reports. Many patients have trouble explaining their pain symptoms. Visit us at Scorthogroup to know more!