Pain Management and Wound Care
Pain can arrive in many forms when it comes to wound care.
Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.5 million Americans every year, according to the National Institutes of Health, and one of the toughest aspects to deal with in wound care is pain management. Any sort of suffering, be it physical or mental, that is associated from enduring the symptoms of an injury can be considered pain, and all patients respond differently to it. Here is a general overview of the variations of pain that can be experienced and how to effectively treat patients when they complain about any discomfort during the treatment process.
Types of pain
There are essentially two types of pain a patient endures in typical wound care procedures: nociceptive and neuropathic pain. Nociceptive derives from immediate reactions to tissue damage, such as a stabbing or skin puncture, which shoot up nerves to indicate pain in the brain. Neuropathic originates from damage to your central nervous system, and may be felt as burning, tingling or shooting sensations. Both of these types of pain produce forms of agony, including:
- Background: frequent nagging at the wound, even after treatment.
- Procedural: related directly to wound dressing change.
- Incident: occurs during natural activities such as sneezing and walking while having a wound.
- Operative: can be a post-surgery wound or result of a biopsy.
Acute wounds, which are abruptly created from a scrape or minor injury, can usually be accompanied with mild pain, but can heal quickly with medical as well as natural treatment. Whether it is using generic pain reliever medicine such as ibuprofen, or applying topical anesthesia onto a dressing before changing, subtle irritations or discomfort should be accounted for.
The inflammatory phase is the primary step when it comes to natural wound healing. Sometimes patients will complain about discomfort during this process, but they should be warned that sensations of swelling, itching and heat will come with the territory of an acute wound.
A quick response time
Avoiding infection is the overall goal in all stages of wound care, and quickly responding to any injury regardless of its size is the first step toward pain management. Your initial step should be to thoroughly cleanse the lesion with water. Try to avoid using soap, hydrogen peroxide or iodine, because it can tend to stimulate irritation resulting in a considerate more amount of pain. You will, however, need to inspect your wound to remove any dirt or debris which could heighten the risk of wound infection.
After initially dressing the affected area, change the bandage on a daily basis to avoid the covering sticking too close to the lesion. Always try to keep pressure off the wounded area, and remember that being silent about pain should never be a solution. Even receiving plenty of sleep and eating nutritiously can help quicken your recovery rate.
Contact your clinician right away if the wound is deep, it is not healing properly or if inflammation and pain continue, even as you are taking medication as recommended.