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Pain and Comfort

Pain and Comfort



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Published by dexter

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Published by: dexter on Oct 22, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Pain and Comfort
Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associatedwith actual or potential tissue damage.
It is sometimes referred to as the FIFTH vital sign.
In many aspects, pain is the most common reason for seeking healthcare.
Because pain emanates from various modalities such as diagnosticstests, diseases and treatment procedures, nurses must beknowledgeable about the pathophysiology of pain and itsmanagement.
Nurses encounter pain in a variety of setting, including acute are,outpatient, and long term care settings as well as in the home.
The nurse has daily encounters with pain who anticipate pain or whoare in pain.
Understanding the phenomenon of pain and contemporary paintheories helps the nurse to intervene effectively.
Pain Definition
This is a subjective sensation to which people respond in differentways.
It can directly impair health and prolong recovery from surgery,disease and trauma.
Pain is a highly unpleasant and very personal sensation that cannotbe shared with others.
It can occupy all a person’s thinking, direct all activities, and change aperson’s life.
It is the noxious or unpleasant stimulation of threatened or actualtissue damage.
This pain sensation is a different sensation because the purpose of pain is not to inform the CNS of the quality of the stimulus but rather to indicate that the stimulus is causing damage or injury to thetissues.
It is the result of a complex pattern of stimuli generated at the painsite and transmitted to the brain for interpretation.
Common terminologies
Radiating pain—perceived at the source of the pain and extends to thenearby tissues
Referred pain— pain is felt in a part of the body that is considerablyremoved from the tissues causing the pain
Intractable pain—pain that is highly resistant to relief 
Phantom pain—painful perception perceived in a missing body part or ina body part paralyzed from a spinal cord injury
Phantom sensation—feeling that the missing body part is still present
Hyperalgesia—excessive sensitivity to pain
Pain threshold—is the amount of pain stimulation a person requires inorder to feel pain
Pain sensation—can be considered the same as pain threshold
Pain reaction—includes the autonomic nervous system and behavioralresponses to pain
Pain tolerance—maximum amount and duration of pain that anindividual is willing to endure
Nociceptors—pain receptors
Pain perception—the point which the person becomes aware of the pain
Pain threshold is similar in all people, but pain is tolerance andresponse vary considerably
Painful sensations are sensed by receptors.
We call the receptors NOCICEPTORS.
Usually they are free nerve endings located widespread in thesuperficial layers of the skin, peritoneal surfaces, periosteum, arterialwalls, pleural surfaces, joint surfaces and the falx and tentorium of the cranial vault.
These nociceptors are non-adapting to keep us constantly informedof the continuous presence of the painful stimulus that can damagethe tissues.For pain to be perceived, nociceptors must be stimulated. These painreceptors can be stimulated by:(1)serotonin(2)histamine(3)potassium ions(4)acids(5)some enzymes
Pain Categories
Category of pain according to its origin
Cutaneous pain—originates in the skin or subcutaneous tissue
Deep somatic pain—arises from ligaments, tendons, bones, bloodvessels, and nerves
Visceral Pain—results from stimulation of pain receptors in theabdominal cavity, cranium and thorax. It tends to appear diffuse andoften feels like deep somatic pain that is, burning aching, or feeling of a pressure. It is frequently caused by stretching of the tissues,ischemia or muscle spasm

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