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A clearer picture of pain

Helping patients to identify their pain and its triggers is the first step in alleviating it
pain questionnaire

Helping patients to identify their pain and its triggers is the first step in alleviating it, says the RCN’s Amanda Cheesley

Detecting whether someone is experiencing pain is not as straightforward as it may seem. Pain is surprisingly complex and it is different for everyone; what is clearly intolerable to one person may barely register with another.

Nurses need to be aware of this complexity and work with the patient to carefully unpick what their pain is, where it is, what it feels like, how it makes them feel and what helps.

Complex triggers

Pain presents in many different ways. It can have physical, emotional or mental triggers.

Many people remain unaware that emotional pain can manifest as physical pain and, if left untreated, can cause great distress to the individual and those they live with.

Pain

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