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September 19, 2018

Sudden or Severe Pain: Emergency Tips

Sudden or Severe Pain: Emergency Tips

Severe pain is disabling and can prevent you from performing normal activities during the day or sleeping at night. It can also affect your social life and when it intensifies, holding a conversation becomes extremely difficult, and your physical activity is likely to become severely impaired.

Acute pain occurs suddenly but is temporary. It is mostly associated with emotional stress, anxiety and resolves on its own as the injury starts to heal.

Severe pain may fall under two main categories: spontaneous trauma and elective procedures.

Spontaneous Insult or Trauma

Painful impulsive conditions include headaches, infection on the upper respiratory infection, or an aching back from doing heavy work.

Nociceptive pain from a sprained ankle, strained ligament, a deep laceration, or simple bone fracture, may require minor surgery or splint at FrontLine ER.

In both scenarios, the condition may be self-treated using over-the-counter analgesics like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) therapy.

Elective or Planned Procedures

Preplanned procedures like immunizations, catheter placement, and phlebotomy, can result in mild acute pain. Applying topical lidocaine/prilocaine (EMLA), ice or using equipment like a Buzzy, which combines the application of ice and vibration can help ease pain significantly.

Other severe painful procedures include same-day dental procedures, arthroscopic, laparoscopic, or podiatric surgeries that can be managed using simple analgesics, such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen.

These are some of the reasons why the majority of patients go for treatment at FrontLine ER, and failure to deal with the pain on time can cause severe damage to your body organs.

Pain Management at FrontLine ER

There is a range of pharmacological non-pharmacological treatment options available that are effective for pain management in adults, infants, and children.

Each person experiences varying levels of pain, and the best way to manage your own may vary from what works for someone else. Your treatment will mainly depend on the cause, the intensity, duration and what makes it better or worse.

Treatment of sudden or severe pain is relatively straightforward as it usually responds to most pain-relieving options. The first thing an emergency room doctor or specialist will ask about when you see them for an injury or illness is whether you are experiencing any pain.

Treating Acute Pain with the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)

After identifying the underlying cause, the doctor administers acetaminophen or a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to ease the symptoms. These simple analgesics work by targeting the natural inflammation that occurs with an injury.

Here are some common types of severe pain managed by using NSAID:

  • Headaches and migraine
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Bruises and abrasions
  • Strained or pulled muscles
  • Minor pain after surgery
  • Muscle aches, back pain, and osteoarthritis
  • Toothaches

On the other hand, patients who drink alcohol or have liver disease should not take Acetaminophen. Patients with, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), significant peptic ulcer or coronary artery disease or bleeding disorders should not take NSAIDs.

Treating Acute Pain with Topical Analgesics

Over the counter products such as camphor, menthol, methyl salicylate, or a blend of these can be useful in managing localized musculoskeletal injuries, if massaged gently into the painful area.

As long as the skin is unbroken, these counterirritants can offer instant relief from muscle pain. However, they must be applied several times a day for them to be effective.

Lidocaine may offer some localized, topical anesthesia before phlebotomy or the placement of an IV catheter.  Lidocaine requires a prescription and must be applied at least half hour preceding the procedure.

Superficial NSAIDs like diclofenac patches or gel also can provide excellent pain relief particularly in the elderly.

Treating Acute Pain Opioids

Opioids can be useful in the treatment of acute pain, especially when combined with other analgesics.

They are available in pills and injectable forms and start to work immediately after ingesting them.

Some of the opioid products include codeine sulfate, fentanyl, oxycodone, tramadol, oxymorphone amongst many more.

Your emergency physician at FrontLine ER will need to consider factors such as the severity of your pain, pain treatment history and any other conditions you may be having before selecting the best opioid product for your treatment.

Pain Management in Children

Pain evaluation in children may be challenging because of cognitive ability, developmental level or other previous pain experiences.

The doctors can provide non-pharmacological treatment such as swaddling, rocking or administering sucrose through a pacifier, massage acupuncture, and RICE therapy, because it involves minimal risk and is cost effective.

Pharmacological treatment, on the other hand, can also be administered, but only after consultations with the child’s pediatrician.

Other treatment options that are achievable from the comfort of your home may include:

  • Meditation and deep breathing to help you relax
  • Reduce stress in your life
  • Do frequent but gentle exercises.
  • Join a support group

If you have unexpected or unknown pain, it could be an indication of an underlying illness, and that should be reason enough for you to go to FrontLine ER. Understanding the pain level will help you correctly describe what you’re feeling, and aid the doctors to prescribe you the most effective medication.

Emergency Care, Emergency Room