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Help to Ease Your Pain
An important part of care at UPMC Altoona is keeping your pain under control. It will help you eat better, sleep better, move around more easily and enjoy visiting with family and friends. Our staff members will be asking about your pain on a routine basis. They may ask about the location, intensity, onset, duration, variation, etc.

When describing your pain to the staff, please use the 1-10 pain scale.

Please do not wait until your pain is above the moderate range (4) and severe before you request relief. If your pain is not relieved by your medicine, or if you have any side effects, please tell your doctor or nurse so something can be done about it. Family members should advise our staff if you notice your loved one experiencing one or more of the following nonverbal indicators of pain:
  • Facial wrinkling, blinking eyes, grimacing
  • Guarding an area of the body
  • Crying, moaning
  • Reduction in social interaction/routines
  • Aggression, e.g., hitting/biting
  • Increase in body movements
  • Irritability, increased confusion
In the diagram, each face is for a person who feels happy because he/she has no pain (hurt) or sad because there is some or a lot of pain. Face 0 is very happy because he/she doesnít hurt at all. Face 1-2 hurts just a little bit. Face 3-4 hurts a little more. Face 5-6 hurts even more. Face 7-8 hurts a whole lot. Face 9-10 hurts as much as you can imagine, although you donít have to be crying to feel this bad. You should choose the face that best describes how you are feeling.

The rating scale is recommended for people age 3 years and older.

Facts About Pain and Medication
  • Pain medications, when given with supervision, are safe and effective. Strong pain medications are rarely addictive when given in this manner.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medications that can help relieve any side effects.
  • Pain or discomfort may be intensified after operative procedures, certain activity levels and during the healing process.
  • Taking pain medication before walking or exercising with physical therapy can make that activity more tolerable and perhaps help speed your recovery.

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