Everybody experiences pain, but nobody experiences pain in the same way. Some people have a high pain threshold. Others may not. What might be moderate pain for one person may be excruciating for someone else.
Individual Approach to Pain Control
Because of this different experiences with pain amongst individuals, pain control must be approached on an individual basis. Just as pain varies from individual to individual so must pain management techniques. A pain management technique that is successful with one person may be totally ineffective for another individual.
Teamwork in Pain Management
The purpose of pain management is to control the pain so that the quality of life is improved. A single person is not able to address all of the various aspects of pain. Teamwork allows the effects of pain to be addressed, and the effects of pain are numerous.
Effects of Pain:
- Poor appetite and weightloss
- Disturbed sleep
- Social withdrawal
- Moodiness, anxiety, and/or depression
- Physical and verbal aggression
- Difficulty with movement
- Impaired immune system function
Quality Pain Management
Effective pain control takes the various effects of pain into consideration. More than that, quality pain management takes into consideration the specific effects of pain felt by the patient. Quality pain management individualizes the pain management plan, and members of the pain management team address the various effects.
A Multidisciplinary Approach
A multidisciplinary approach to pain management works best. In this approach, members of the pain management team are selected because of their specialization in addressing specific effects of pain experienced by the patient. The pain management team may be comprised of medical care professionals, pharmacists, mental healthcare professionals, physical therapists, and even massage therapists. In addition to these individuals, a pain management team may include members of the alternative medicine community such as spiritual advisors and life coaches.
Listening to the Voice of the Patient
The pain management team will listen to the patient. Self-report is the number one indicator of the severity of pain. The beliefs and values of the patient should be of primary concern to the pain management team. Ultimately, the pain management team needs to consider what the patient wants and devise a plan of fulfilling these wishes with the various pain control techniques at the team’s disposal.
Snapshot Versus Panorama
The difference between this individualized, multidisciplinary approach to pain management and pain control methods used in the past is the difference between a snapshot and a panoramic shot. The snapshot only provides on viewpoint, while the panoramic shot provides for a wider viewpoint.
This wider viewpoint is need when discussing pain management. Pain management is more than alleviating the suffering experienced from pain. Pain management centers on improving the quality of life for the patient. It addresses the effects of pain that an individual experiences so that a sense of normalcy and equilibrium can be introduced into the patient’s life. Current pain management practices have moved from the snapshot to the panoramic viewpoint, and this change is of the utmost benefit to the patient.