Pain medication can be a pill or liquid you swallow or an injection. Sometimes we deliver pain medication through a patch on your skin. If you are in the hospital you might have a special PCA pump that allows you to take a dose of pain medication when you feel you need it. For some surgeries a very small tube is placed in your back by an anesthesiologist. Your doctor will discuss the best approach for your condition.
Usually, taking pain medications on a schedule during the day and night works better than waiting until the pain is more intense and then taking medication. Sometimes we need to try a different amount of medication, a different drug or a different way to give you the medication. We want to find the way that works best for you and your type of pain.
If your pain isn't controlled by our first plan, all of us might have to think about a new plan. Sometimes we need to ask more questions. In that case, you'll need to tell us more about where you feel pain, what if feels like, what makes it worse and what makes it better. If you know something works well, be sure to share that with us. Never think that you are being a pest or a complainer if you report that your pain level seems too high.
Other ways to help control pain might be changing position in the bed with pillows, using heat or cold, relaxing with music or TV, practicing slow deep breathing and using your imagination to think of quiet, pleasant places. These things may help your pain medications to work better or help you feel that you need less medication.