April is OT Month! Day 16 is Letter “P” of @shannenmarie_ot ‘s phOTo challenge.
Often as OTs we will meet clients who report experiencing some level of pain that impacts their ability to perform their ADLs throughout the day. It’s critical to understand the cause of pain and beneficial pain management strategies that are helpful in the long term. Understanding the client’s perception of pain, whether it’s acute or chronic, severity of pain, type of pain, pre vs post session pain, location of pain (localized or referred), factors that increase/decrease pain, and how this pain affects their mood, sleep, and health are components of addressing it. I always ask my clients to identify their level of pain using a pain scale pre and post therapy sessions to compare, set goals to decrease the level of pain, and problem solve to figure out ways to best manage the pain.
Some pain management techniques could involve: Energy Conservation strategies (Pacing, Alternating heavier work with lighter work), Joint Protection techniques, Meditation, Deep Breathing, Imagery, Distraction, Medication, or further medical consult for more severe and chronic pain (ex: nerve block). Everyone also experiences pain differently and one pain management technique that works for one client may not work for another.
My favorite pain measurement scale to use is the Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale because it includes pictures of faces to further describe the pain numbers. Most clients will immediately report their pain level as “10” and then after seeing the scale will actually change their answer to be somewhere closer to “7”. Overall pain should never be ignored and always addressed because it’s our body’s way of telling us something is wrong. What are some ways you address pain for yourself or for your clients? - 46 minutes ago