OSF Saint Luke Medical Center

Pain Management

Our goal is to make this experience as comfortable as possible, but we need your help. Surgery is not pain free, but it is important you feel as comfortable and as in control as possible.

We will plan a pain goal upon arrival to the surgery department. If you have pain after surgery, tell your nurse right away. Do not wait until the pain becomes severe. Medications for pain can be either “over the counter” or prescription drugs. If you are an inpatient, your pain medications may be pills or may be given through an IV. Our goal is to help you control pain and function at the highest level possible.

Tips for Taking Pain Medications

  • Always take your medications as directed. Be sure to take the correct dose at the right time. This can help the pain before it starts.
  • Do not stop taking the medication without asking your doctor.
  • Call your doctor if you start to have side effects from the medicine.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol- it may be dangerous if mixed with many medications.

Other Ways to Manage Pain

  • Massage
  • Relaxation
  • Heat or cold treatments
  • Change of position
  • Soothing sounds or music
  • Diversionary activities/focusing on something else

Help the Doctors and Nurses "Measure" Your Pain

When you arrive at the hospital, you will be asked for a pain goal. This means, on a scale of 0 to 10, what level of pain would be tolerable for you and you could manage activities without further pain management treatments. A score of “0” would mean no pain. A score of “10” would mean the worst pain ever. Reporting a pain goal is important because it helps doctors and nurses know how well your treatment is working when assessing your pain during your stay.

Pain That Does Not Go Away

Tell the doctors or nurses about any pain that won’t go away. We want you to achieve a comfort level that is right for you. Our nurses and doctors want to make your hospital stay as comfortable and tolerable as possible. The amount or type of pain you feel may not be the same as others feel, even those who have the same problem. Pain management is personal and is different from person to person. Your doctors and nurses need to be told if your pain is not being controlled. 

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