What is pain?
"Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage (I.A.S.P.)."
Pain is an individual experience and so pain intensity cannot be measured objectively. Communication about your pain is important for effective pain management.
Understanding pain better:
It is important to distinguish between acute and chronic pain. This is because the approach is very different.
Pain is managed with medication or other medical interventions aimed at preventing and repairing tissue damage.
This is why chronic pain is best treated with a multidisciplinary approach. The treatment team works with you on options to evolve the pain to a liveable and manageable level. For this, medication is combined with dosed and supervised exercise, relaxation techniques, psychological counselling, building up relaxing and social activities.
NEUROGENE PAIN (nerve pain):
ONCOLOGICAL PAIN (pain in cancer):
Communication about pain
We invite you to discuss pain during your consultation, admission or treatment at NMSC. Of course, it is best to discuss this with your doctor, but nurses/healthcare workers and rehabilitation therapists are also trained to take the necessary steps in case of pain.
For example, during the first week of admission, the nurse will systematically ask you at least twice a day if you are in pain. If your answer is yes, the nurse will ask further questions about the location, character and intensity of the pain (scale from 0 to 10: 0=no pain and 10=worst pain). She/he will also record this in your file and discuss it with the doctor and, if necessary, also with the therapeutic team.
The questions below may come up when the doctor/nurse or other healthcare provider explores your pain:
Depending on the evolution, the doctor, nurse and/or therapist will continue to question your pain. After all, this information and communication is needed to help you manage your pain. To do this properly, we want to understand your pain.
When it is difficult for you/your relative to communicate about pain, pain is systematically evaluated in a non-verbal way and family members are involved in following up on pain management.
In chronic pain, it is often better not to ask about pain on a daily basis because your attention will remain too focused on the pain. In consultation with you, it is decided how further communication about your pain will take place during admission or treatment.
Working together on pain
Pain management is given an important place in promoting your quality of life. In any case, you are our most important partner in the treatment of pain.
In acute pain, the approach will mainly consist of determining the cause, starting medication or another treatment technique. Here, doctors and nurses usually play the most important role. Nevertheless, complementary techniques from e.g. physical therapy (such as physiotherapy) can contribute.
In chronic pain, the cause of the pain is known but not solvable or long-term in nature. You yourself will play a key role in the approach. The team will help you in various ways to evolve the pain to a livable level. Medication or medical interventions certainly have their place but are not the only strategy in this case. Our main focus is on tapping into resources that can help you live as active and comfortable a life as possible despite the presence of pain.
The fact that NMSC is known for its interdisciplinary approach is also an asset when it comes to tackling pain. Together, we get your pain small!
For more information, contact Ms Corinne Cuvelier or Dr An van Nunen at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 02/59 78 647