General Pain Management
Acute pain is pain that is short term, occurring most often after injury or surgery. Patients need to understand that managing their acute pain actually helps their healing, and they play an important role in helping their doctors develop a pain management plan that works best for them.
Opioids are often prescribed to relieve the intense pain that accompanies a serious injury or surgical procedure. While opioids can be addictive, they are considered safe and effective for acute pain management if used for the shortest length of time and at the lowest effective dose necessary. A doctor who prescribes opioids for pain management should regularly monitor your pain levels with the goal of safely discontinuing their use when your pain is more manageable (or under control).
There is no medical test that can tell your healthcare provider what level of pain you might be experiencing following an injury or surgery. That information has to come from you as the patient. Learning how to honestly describe and rate your pain will help your doctor determine the best way to manage that pain and get you on the road to recovery.
A PCA or patient-controlled analgesia pump is one way to receive pain medication in the hospital. Your healthcare team will determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment, which allows you to push a button to receive medication directly into a vein when you experience pain. The pump is programmed so that you cannot give yourself too much.