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It is projected that more than 230 million individuals worldwide undergo surgical procedures each year, and this figure is expected to climb further (Schuitevoerder et al., 2020). In most situations, surgery is to blame for postoperative pain, which must be relieved as soon as feasible and as efficiently as possible in order to reduce patient suffering, accelerate the healing process, improve patient satisfaction, and prevent subsequent health risks. The majority of people have some level of pain following surgery. Pain can be classified as acute, chronic, or severe, and it is usually the result of tissue damage caused by surgical treatments. Chronic pain raises the likelihood of an individual experiencing sleep difficulties, depression, and incapacity (Soltani et al., 2019). Despite the poor efficacy of medical treatments, the usage of prescription-only analgesics has increased in recent years. As a result, it is critical to assess the efficacy of treatments that do not include the use of medications.
In line with the above sentiments, healthcare providers must design comfort contracts that are aimed at managing postsurgical pain for patients at home. Since most patients do not stay in the hospital long enough to fully recover from their pain after surgery, there is a need to be some form of contract that patients are expected to adhere to. This is important when the patients discharged still feel pain following previous surgery. Such contracts are effective in adherence and follow-up plans to help the patient fully recover from these postoperative pain and discomforts.
Prescribing the Expected Levels of Postsurgical Comfort
The pathophysiological mechanisms that occur as a result of tissue injury suggest that acute discomfort may become chronic. Irritation at the site of tissue injury activates a flood of afferent nociceptors, sensitizing both the peripheral and central nervous systems. As a result, the spinal cord, peripheral nerves, pain pathways, and sympathetic nervous system all undergo functional alterations. Specific receptor sites, such as the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, appear to play an important role in post-injury pain (Pan et al., 2022). Pain management measures may be required when persistent pain is caused by a continuing inflammatory response or is the outcome of neuropathological abnormalities. Perioperative physicians who specialize in anesthesia should assume the role of leaders in this situation in order to appreciate and apply pain control methods fully.
Although postoperative pain should be controlled as soon as possible, clinical pain therapy after surgery remains unsuccessful, despite the rapid increase of scientific and empirical knowledge in this field. The vast majority of people who have undergone surgical therapy still report intense pain. Worse, a significant proportion of people may suffer from chronic pain that goes unnoticed by the medical community. Inadequate treatment of acute postoperative pain has been linked to the development of chronic pain, at least in part.
Inadequate translation of primary and clinical research findings into evidence-based therapeutic practices has been identified as a major contributor to undertreatment (Brewer et al., 2022). For example, the agony one feels following surgery is a rather unique occurrence. This could be the outcome of a single inflammatory process, or it could be the result of a single nerve injury. It is critical to understand that the pathophysiology of postoperative pain is unique to each individual and that the consequences may vary, even though inflammation and brain tissue destruction are frequent occurrences. However, intervention strategies in actual clinical settings still need to be based on research findings.
Relieving Chronic Discomfort Pain at Home
Ineffective post-operative acute pain management can contribute to a variety of adverse medical outcomes, including pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, infection, and delayed healing. As a result, it is critical that all surgical patients receive enough pain medicine. However, there is evidence that this is not the case at the moment; between 10% and 50% of patients who undergo routine procedures experience chronic pain, and a recent study conducted in the United States discovered that more than 80% of patients experience post-operative pain (Blanco et al., 2022).
During the first meeting of the Change Pain Advisory Board’s acute chapter, the board identified four major areas for improvement in post-operative pain management. To begin with, patients should have a greater say in treatment decisions, particularly when life-threatening options are being explored. To be relevant, the audience must be presented with pertinent information so that they are aware of all possible possibilities. Communication between the doctor and the patient is also essential. Second, increasing the quantity of professional education and training obtained by the interdisciplinary pain management team members would result in an extension of their skill set and body of knowledge, hence improving the quality of care provided to patients.
Relaxation is an example of a non-pharmacological treatment that is increasingly being acknowledged as an intervention for pain reduction and pain management (Hu et al., 2021). A relaxed mood is frequently accompanied by emotions of mental and physical wellness, as well as tranquility. The goal of relaxation techniques is to elicit a relaxation response, which is the inverse of the stress reaction. This is done to suppress the sympathetic nervous system, which is stimulated by stress. There is a link between using relaxation techniques and lower blood pressure, oxygen consumption, respiratory frequency, heart rate, and muscle tension. Relaxation techniques have various physiological impacts, including lower cortisol levels and suppression of inflammatory processes. Relaxation is an effective strategy for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Blanco López, M. A., Diniz Freitas, M., Limeres Pose, J., Hernández, G., & López‐Pintor, R. M. (2022). Oral health status and dental care for individuals with visual impairment. A narrative review. Special Care in Dentistry.
Brewer, S. K., Davis, J. M., Singh, R., & Welch, L. C. (2022). Establishing evidence-based pharmacologic treatments for neonatal abstinence syndrome: A retrospective case study. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 6(1), e96.
Hu, Y., Lu, H., Huang, J., & Zang, Y. (2021). Efficacy and safety of non‐pharmacological interventions for labor pain management: A systematic review and Bayesian network meta‐analysis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 30(23-24), 3398-3414.
Pan, L., Li, T., Wang, R., Deng, W., Pu, H., & Deng, M. (2022). Roles of phosphorylation of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor in chronic pain. Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 1-21.
Schuitevoerder, D., Sherman, S. K., Izquierdo, F. J., Eng, O. S., & Turaga, K. K. (2020). Assessment of the surgical workforce pertaining to cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in the United States. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 27(9), 3097-3102.
Soltani, S., Kopala-Sibley, D. C., & Noel, M. (2019). The co-occurrence of pediatric chronic pain and depression. The Clinical Journal of Pain, 35(7), 633–643.
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