Pain Management: Health Library

Pain is...

An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.

Chronic Pain

Pain that last for more than 6 months and may continue for the rest of the patients life.

Neuropathic Pain

Pain that starts or is caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the nervous system.

Opioid

Preferred to the term "narcotic"; refers medications that relieve pain by binding to the opioid receptors in the nervous system.

Adjuvant

A drug that has a primary purpose other than pain relief (like an antidepressant or seizure medication) but can also serve as an analgesic for some painful conditions.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Characterized by pain, abnormal regulation of blood flow and sweating, changes in skin and nails, may involve swelling and color change to the limb. CRPS/RSD may or may not be associated with an injury.

Non-Pharmacologic Methods of Pain Relief

Non-medicine intervention or treatment for pain management. May increase sleep, reduce anxiety, improve mood and increase sense of control.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Used to assist patients to change their view of their pain and suffering from overwhelming to manageable and to teach patients coping techniques and skills and how to utilize these adaptive methods.

Complementary Therapy

Include non-medication modalities such as heat, cold, vibration, distraction, relaxation, used for pain management.

Tolerance

A process characterized by decreasing effects of a drug at the initial dose, or the need for a higher dose of a drug to maintain an effect.

Physical Dependence

Physical reliance on an opioid evidenced by withdrawal symptoms if the opioid is abruptly stopped or an antagonist is administered.

Addiction

Psychological dependence; a pattern of compulsive drug use characterized by a continual craving for an opioid and the need to use the opioid for effects other than pain relief.

Blocks & Injections

Trigger point injection can be done in the office if needed for chronic headache. Blocks and injections such as lumbar sympathetic, stellate ganglion & epidural steroid injections may be used for diagnosis or to facilitated physical therapy and rehabilitation. Celiac plexus can be done for severe chronic pain of in the upper abdomen. These blocks are done with local anesthetic injection under general anesthesia.

If the patient requires an epidural catheter placement for CRPS, the child may be hospitalized for several weeks. An epidural catheter and peripheral nerve blocks may be placed for pain control after surgery. 

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