Understanding Pain and the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Understanding Pain and the Treatment of Chronic Pain

Understanding chronic pain and the task of its management can be quite a challenge, especially when dealing with patients suffering from cancer and other chronic debilitating illnesses. Pain is a subjective experience that encompasses more than just the physical component as generally understood by the medical profession. In palliative care, it is the “Total Pain” that is treated, which includes physical, emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of pain. Chronic pain is an unnecessary and unwanted suffering and the point is that it is manageable. It is important to treat this pain so that the quality of life can be improved. This significance is relevant not only to the patient but also to the family. This article is a brief overview of the pathophysiology of pain, and its assessment and management.