chapter  13
26 Pages

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.