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Pain management

Techniques to keep the pain at bay

One of the most difficult parts of being a caregiver is seeing your mother or father in pain. Depending on the illness, pain may escalate over time, or it may come and go, and be influenced by the time of day. But there are several things you can do to treat the pain before it becomes unbearable.

Create a pain control plan

Work with the doctor to create a program that will help keep your parent’s pain under control. Make sure you are familiar with each medication, including the dosage and how frequently it should be taken. Also, be sure you’re prepared for pain problems before they occur. These include increased tolerance to medication resulting in pain returning before the next dose is due, pain that may occur in the middle of the night or unexpected side effects from the medication.

Keep a medication log

Depending on how many medications your parent is taking, and how frequently, it can be confusing to remember when the next dose is due. Create a simple medication log – either on paper or by using an app on your smart phone – to track each medication, the dosage and the time it was taken.

Refill before you run out

Some pain medications need to be ordered, so contact the pharmacy early to be sure you don’t run out. Also, consider signing up for auto-refill to make the process easier for you. The Novant Health Pharmacy offers both auto-refill and free mail order delivery to your home. To learn more, call 1-888-718-9044.

Learn non-medication treatment options

At-home treatments such as massage, proper positioning, and applying cold and heat can help relax muscles and relieve pain. A physical therapist can teach you appropriate exercises and simple techniques.

Don’t be afraid to ask for more help

If the prescribed medication doesn’t seem to be working or the pain seems to be intensifying, call you parent’s doctor immediately. A pain management specialist can also help tailor a program specifically for your parent. Relieving or reducing pain is essential in an individual’s ability to cope with an illness.