Pain can last less than 3 to 6 months (acute), last a long time (chronic) or be severe and intense (breakthrough). Pain can come and go with injury, recovery and/or illness.
All patients have the right to have their pain managed. Proper treatment of pain is necessary for you to achieve the best results during your recovery.
If you do not think that your pain is being treated well, please tell your nurse or doctor. He or she will talk with you about your pain and your pain management needs.
Using a number scale (zero to 10) to rate your pain will help the health care team members know how severe your pain is and help them make decisions about how to treat it.
Since you are the only one who knows where and how severe your pain is, you have an important part in managing your pain.
If you have pain, tell your nurse or doctor.
All of the following information will help your doctor(s) prescribe the right medicine and therapy for your pain, and avoid serious complications (side effects). Tell your nurse or doctor:
Managing your pain is more than taking prescription (opioid) pain medicine. There are many different types of treatments for pain including:
All medicines have some side effects, but not everyone gets them.
When side effects occur, it is usually within a few hours after taking the medicine. Most side effects can be managed and go away in time.
There are many ways to give medicine for pain. Your doctor will help you decide which way might be best for you:
The right pain control can help:
Take pain medicine when pain first begins. If you know your pain may get worse with activity, take your pain medicine before the activity.
Don't wait for pain to get worse before taking medicine. Tablets or pills may take up to 30 minutes to begin working.
Your doctor or health care team will give you directions for managing your pain at home. Be sure to have written instructions with a health care provider's name/number who will manage your pain after you go home.
It is important you follow your doctor's directions for taking pain medicine. If you need help, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have concerns or side effects from pain medicine, call the doctor who prescribed the medicine, or call your regular doctor.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Total Hip Replacement, third edition, ortho-ahc-90140
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
These four videos review pain expectations, rating your pain, pain treatment options and home pain management.
Watch all four modules.
This 24-minute video explains what a peripheral nerve block is and how you can use it to control pain in the hospital and after you return home.
Watch the full video or in two- to three-minute segments.
When medicines are used correctly to manage pain, addiction rarely occurs.
If you have concerns about this issue, please talk with your nurse or doctor.