General Principles of Pain Management
An assessment of a person in pain should not differ from the approach used in other medical disorders. A comprehensive history and physical ex amination are mandatory to determine both the presence of underlying dis ease as well as contributory factors that may be influencing symptoms. How ever, unlike other medical problems, there will be a considerable individual variation in the intensity of the pain regardless of etiology. In addition, often a precise cause will not be able to be clearly defined or, if defined, may not appear to be of sufficient magnitude to result in the intensity of pain experi enced. Finally, especially in instances of chronic pain, a person may see a physician with definite perception of what is needed to obtain relief, which frequently may conflict with the physician’s perception.