Pain mismanagement is associated with low recovery, high morbidity, increase hospital stay, decrease patient satisfaction, high
costs of admission and adverse drug reactions due to inappropriate analgesic prescriptions. Therefore, optimal pain management
is of utmost importance in promoting recovery and improving quality of life. This review describes the pharmacological and nonpharmacological
approaches to the management of pain.
Pain is an unpleasant emotional situation which causes
reduction in living quality and functional situation of the patients
linked with increase in the fatigue levels resulting in impairments
of daily life activities in working capacity and social interactions
. There are two types of pains: nociceptive and neuropathic
pain. Nociceptive and neuropathic pains can either be acute or
chronic; however, neuropathic pains are the major contributors
to most chronic pains. Nociceptive pains arise from damaged
tissues and wounds such as compound fracture, burns, bruises, and
inflammatory disorders are typically nociceptive .
Pharmacological approach to the management of pain
The management of pain requires the management of the
whole patient, rather than the irrational prescription of analgesic
resulting to abuse of this important class of drugs without providing
adequate relief of pain. The prescription of analgesic is governed
by the severity of pain, the individual needs and the circumstances
of the patient . Pain killers (Analgesics) currently represent the
mainstay of pain management, with an array of drugs available,
aspirin, acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
(NSAIDs), mixed agonist and antagonists and narcotic analgesics
Non-pharmacological approach to pain management
Pain is the commonest symptom that takes patients to doctors,
but the complaint does not mean that an analgesic is needed.
Although drug therapy is the mainstay of pain treatment, it is
not all pains that are needed to be relieved by drugs . Simple
measures can be used to control some types of pain. . The nonpharmacological
therapy of pain management is considered to
help the standard pharmacological treatment in pain management.
This management aims to treat the affective, cognitive, behavioral
and socio-cultural dimensions of the pain. Non-pharmacological
methods can be used to control some types of pain and they are
invasive methods and non-invasive methods .
Optimal pain management is the right of all patients and
the responsibility of all health professionals, therefore health
professionals managing individuals with pain must understand the
anatomy and pathophysiology of the various conditions affecting
the human body as well as the mechanism and pharmacology to
support the various treatment strategies. Health professionals must
combine both pharmacologic and non-pharmacological methods
for effective management of pain and provision of comfortable and
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