Pain management matters
- Pain affects comfort, recovery, quality of life, sleep, function, and general health.
- Pain management is a key factor influencing satisfaction with hospital care.
- Pain affects people of all ages
- Children, older adults, and people with communication impairments are particularly vulnerable to pain.
What is good pain management?
- Pain affects all aspects of a persons life. Effective treatment often requires more than medications.
- Pain management must be patient and family centered with patients and families involved in treatment decisions.
- Treatment for pain may include:
- Physical strategies to reduce pain, improve physical function, and improve sleep.
Examples include exercise, physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, warm or cold packs, and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).
- Psychological strategies to reduce pain, improve coping, or address depression or anxiety that often accompany pain.
Examples include relaxation training, cognitive behavioral therapy, counselling, self-management education, hypnosis.
- Preventative strategies to reduce risk factors that contribute to pain.
Examples include splints, braces, or mobility aides, activity pacing, education or treatment to improve sleep. Speak to a physiotherapist or occupational therapist for advice.
- Pharmacologic strategies (medications) that reduce pain, inflammation, or nerve sensitivity, or improve related symptoms such as sleep disturbances, depression or anxiety.
- For more information on services available in the Saskatchewan Health Authority for pain management support, see the Chronic or Complex Pain webpage on this site.
Speak up about your pain
- It is important to tell your health care providers about your pain or side effects from treatment.
- Your health care providers will ask about your pain. They may ask you to score your pain on a scale from 0-10, where 0 is no pain and 10 is the most pain possible. The number you give won't necessarily be the same score that someone else would give, because people experience pain in different ways. That's okay. The treatment team will ask you about your pain several times, and keep track of how your score changes with treatment.
- If you have pain, don't tough it out - tell the treatment team so they can find treatments that will help, such as medications or non-drug treatments like ice packs or physiotherapy, Be sure to tell the treatment team if you have unpleasant side effects with the treatments, like sleepiness, nausea, constipation, or itching.
- Treating pain will help you feel better and heal faster.
- Speak UP video by the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.