- Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.
- This definition recognizes both the physiologic and affective nature of the pain experience. Pain can be classified by these types:
- a) Nociceptive pain, which is considered a warning signal that results from actual or threatened damage to non-neural tissue resulting in the activation of nociceptors in a normal functioning nervous system; or
- b) Neuropathic pain, which is a clinical description of pain thought to be caused by damage from a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system that is confirmed by diagnostic investigations.
- Pain categories can be based on the location of lesion (somatic, visceral), diagnosis (headache) or duration (acute, persistent).
- A person may experience both nociceptive (such as with surgery), and neuropathic pain (e.g., diabetic neuropathy) at the same time.
- The RNAO expert panel on Assessment and Management of Pain developed these guiding principles for this edition of the guideline:
Any person has the right to expect:
- Their pain to be acknowledged and respected.
- The best possible personalized evidence-based pain assessment and management including relevant bio-psychosocial components.
- Ongoing information and education about the assessment and management of pain.
- Involvement as an active participant in their own care in collaboration with the interprofessional team.
- Communication and documentation among interprofessional team members involved in their care to monitor and manage their pain.
Assessment and Management of Pain - 3rd Edition