Post-Surgical Pain

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Post-surgical pain is common after a surgical procedure, and may require medication and other forms of treatment to manage pain levels.

Types of Post-Surgical Pain

After surgery, patients may experience the following types of pain:

  • Muscle pain. Patients may feel muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, back, or chest caused by lying on the operating table.
  • Throat pain. The patient’s throat may feel sore or scratchy if the patient was under general anesthesia during the operation.
  • Movement pain. Sitting up, walking, and coughing may cause increased post-surgical pain at or around the incision site.

Categories of post-surgical pain include:

  • Nociceptive pain. This type of pain is caused by tissue damage and can include damage to muscle, bone, skin, and organs.
  • Superficial somatic pain. Types of injuries that can cause somatic pain include cuts, bruises, burns, and skin wounds from a surgical incision.
  • Deep somatic pain. This form of pain comes from tissues within the body, such as ligaments, bones, muscles, and tendons.
  • Visceral pain. Internal organs can cause visceral pain. Pain can be caused by surgery and other types of organ damage, such as cancer and infection.
  • Neuropathic pain. This form of pain can be caused by surgery, injury, or disease. The two types of neuropathic pain are central neuropathic pain (CNP) and peripheral neuropathic pain.
  • Referred pain. When the brain can’t identify the source of pain, it is called referred pain.
  • Phantom limb pain. Patients can feel a sensation in an amputated or removed body part.

Causes of Post-Surgical Pain

The potential causes of post-surgical pain include:

  • Tissue damage at the incision site
  • The procedure itself
  • The closing of the wound
  • Force applied during the procedure

Treatment Options for Post-Surgical Pain

At Westcare Clinics, patients suffering from post-surgical pain may be treated with pain management techniques, joint and soft tissue injections, and occupational medicine. The right treatment option will depend on the patient’s unique cause and form of pain.

Patients suffering from post-surgical pain may obtain relief by incorporating pain management techniques into treatment; these techniques may include cold and heat therapy, physical therapy, therapeutic massage, gentle exercise, biofeedback, mind-body techniques, music therapy, and occupational therapy. The pain management techniques will be customized according to the patient’s needs.

Joint and soft tissue injections, such as epidural injections (interlaminar and transforaminal), piriformis injection, sacroiliac joint injections, and trigger point injections, can also help ease and treat post-surgical pain. The type of soft tissue injection that is done will depend on the type, severity, and location of the pain.

Westcare Clinics offers occupational medicine to help patients continue working. Our healthcare practitioners are available to train employers to adapt the workplace and worker responsibilities to the physical limitations of their employees.

Advanced Treatment

Patients suffering from post-surgical pain may need further treatment to manage and alleviate their pain. Advanced treatment options may include physical therapy, acupuncture, and other forms of rehabilitation. The Westcare Clinics team is happy to answer any questions patients may have about obtaining advanced treatment for post-surgical pain.



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