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Pain & Symptoms

Pain and symptom management is a key pillar of palliative care. Integrating pain and symptom management, along with advance care planning and caregiver education & support, along with chronic disease management provides the “best care” for the individual patient along the life-cycle of the patient.

It is important to know and treat the underlying cause of pain and specific symptoms in order to improve quality of life and reduce suffering.  In addition, it is important to know the person’s health status, prognosis (life expectancy) and what matters most to the individual in order to provide treatment than meets their personal goals for care.

Talk to you doctor or nurse practitioner about your pain and symptoms so that the underlying cause is identified and treated and the appropriate treatment to help relieve your discomfort is prescribed.

Pain

Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that comes from injury, disease or damage to your body. Pain is sometimes a nuisance but it may be a signal that something is wrong.

While all patients should be screened for pain, identifying a specific etiology for pain is challenging. A complete assessment, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components is helpful in determining the appropriate course of management. Pain Guidelines help guide an appropriate approach to diagnosis and management of pain.

Symptoms

When people think of discomfort, pain is the first symptom that comes to mind. There are a myriad of other symptoms that require effective symptom management in order to improve quality of life and function and reduce suffering.  Examples of other symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, constipation, anxiety and depression.

Prepare for Your Visit

It is helpful to prepare for your visit by thinking about the answers to these questions ahead of time:

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