Pain management focuses on lessening the pain experienced by individuals. Pain is usually divided into two categories: acute and chronic. Acute pain is generally associated with injury, headaches, disease and other such temporary conditions that resolve once the condition causing it resolves. Pain that endures beyond normal healing time is considered chronic. Chronic pain can be associated with cancer, persistent and degenerative conditions and neuropathy or nerve damage.
Prior to beginning treatment, a person’s pain is thoroughly evaluated. Evaluation can include the use of pain scales or questionnaires, physical examinations and diagnostic tests, as well as a variety of other assessment tools. It is important to try and determine the type and intensity of the pain in order to develop an effective plan of treatment.
Treatment options may include pharmacological, nonpharmacological and other approaches. An effective pain management approach can help prevent, reduce and even eliminate acute or chronic pain.