Cancer, its treatment, or coexisting diseases can cause pain. Assessing pain is an important part of any medical assessment, and managing pain is of similar importance to your care. Untreated pain can suppress the immune system , delay healing, and lead to depression. When pain is associated with persistent depression (for example, if you have feelings of depression every day for two weeks), it is also important to see a doctor. Depression is an illness that must be treated, even when there are treatments for other health problems.

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Your doctor will need to assess your pain and make sure it is well managed throughout your treatment and recovery.

Pain management often requires the use of both drugs and non-drug solutions for patient relief.

Acute and chronic pain
There are two main types of pain: acute and chronic.

Acute pain is the body's response to signal that a particular behavior should be stopped or a doctor should be consulted. When you step on a piece of glass or touch a hot surface, a sharp pain occurs. The body can then respond by increasing the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate. Acute pain is sharp pain that does not last long (less than three months) and goes away after the injury heals.

Chronic pain, on the other hand, can last for months or even longer. This pain has no useful function: because it produces changes in the nervous system, it is considered a disease. It can start suddenly or settle down gradually. This pain can be constant or intermittent and increases over time. Unlike acute pain, it usually does not result in a stress response such as increased heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Left untreated, it can suppress the immune system and delay healing. Chronic pain is a physical and emotional burden on patients and their caregivers.

Paroxysmal pain
The word “breakthrough” refers to a brief, sudden attack of pain, sometimes severe, that can occur in a person taking pain relievers. It is as if the pain manages to peak (peak) at some point despite the medication. This pain may be felt when the effect of the pain reliever wears off (such as before the next dose is taken) or when the person does or experiences something that may cause pain (such as staying too long in the same position or make certain sudden movements). It can occur even if the patient is taking their painkillers at the recommended doses and frequency. If you have episodes of breakthrough pain, talk to your doctor.

Don't wait to have your pain treated
It is essential to obtain treatment for the pain without delay in order to avoid the appearance of health problems. Experts say studies show that people with cancer tend to wait to seek relief from the pain they are feeling because they believe that in doing so, their doctor will pay less attention to treatment. of their cancer. In addition, these people:

mistakenly believe that they cannot be relieved and that pain inevitably goes hand in hand with cancer;
act as if the pain does not exist, for fear that it is a sign of progression or recurrence of the disease;
fear of developing dependence on pain relievers;
imagine, falsely, that an anti-pain treatment at the start of treatment may affect its effectiveness thereafter;

want to appear strong and courageous.
Pain assessment and management
Pain assessment is an important part of any medical assessment. It is just as important as taking your blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate and body temperature. Unrelieved pain can lead to unnecessary suffering. It can also:

limit the ability to work, exercise, sleep and perform daily tasks;
weaken the immune system, which will make it more difficult to fight infections and support healing;
reduce appetite;
cause anxiety and depression;
create tension in relationships;
harm intimate relationships with a partner.

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