Pain- definition, types

 The only person who truly knows what the

pain is like is the patient. It is not the nurse’s view of the patient’s reality but the patient himself/herself.


  • Created by: Tedie
  • Created on: 21-05-12 22:34

Acute Pain

<3 months

subsidise with healing

sharp/ localised

rise in BP, HR, pallor, sweating,restless, anxiety, grimace

associated with injury/ disease

Acute pain occurs because of activation of nociceptors in the body tissues and

organs activated by:

Mechanical injury (trauma, surgery), Thermal (heat/cold)

Chemical (release of molecules from damaged tissues (e.g. inflammation) which increase pain transmission



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Chronic Pain

Chronic pain:

> 3-6months

dull, diffuse, constant, aching,doesn't go away

associated with restlesness, being withdrawn, depression

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Pain assessment should be done using OPQRSTU- onset, provocation, quality, radiation, site, time and understanding.

Chest pain: use OLD CART- onset, localisation,duration, characteristics, aggrevating factors, relieving factors and treatment.

Tools are used to measure and establish patterns, and also understand iv the anlgesia is working. Use visual analogue scales- numeric, intensity rating or facial scales, visual description and vital signs (for patients who can't explain themselves for some reason).

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