Pain Management Treatment Options

doctor and patient medicine

Pain and symptom management is one of the primary goals of palliative and hospice care – keeping the patient comfortable and managing symptoms to ensure they have the highest quality of life. Even if a patient isn't experiencing pain, your care team evaluates and monitors your condition regularly so they can intervene quickly if needed. The care team will evaluate a patient's pain on every visit using pain rating scales and the expertise of the physician.

Pain relief can be provided through various methods, including oral medications suppositories, patches, tubes inserted into a blood vessel, injections, and pumps.

Types of pain relief:

  • Opioids: Such as morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, methadone, fentanyl, meperidine, codeine, hydrocodone, and propoxyphene
  • Pain medicines: Such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (including naproxen, celecoxib, and ibuprofen), tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, N-methyl D-aspartate receptor antagonists, anesthetics, alpha-2 agonists, and anticholinergics
  • Pain relivers: Such as nerve blocks, spinal infusions, surgery, and radiation therapy.

Other symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath: Here are some quick tips to help - Sit up straight, let some fresh air in, use a fan, humidifier, or AC, avoid strong smells, and identify any triggers that make your breathing worse and avoid them.
  • Nausea and vomiting: To avoid nausea and vomiting, try to avoid foods and odors that you know make you feel sick. Eat smaller, more frequent meals and use relaxation techniques.
  • Constipation: Certain foods and beverages, such as prune juice, can help, but medical intervention is likely the best option.

Your palliative care team is specially trained to create a safe and effective plan to manage pain and symptoms using a combination of treatments, including medications.