Being in pain is often a big concern for dying people and their carers.
Pain is associated with many life limiting conditions and may be something that you have lived with for a long time.
You may already be receiving pain killing medications to help control your pain. This will be reviewed to make sure it is as effective as possible and changes in your medication may be suggested.
Sometimes the way you take your pain killing medication may be changed to make it easier for you – for example switching from oral tablets that are hard to swallow to liquid or skin patches or injections.
In the last days of life pain may get worse and for some people now may be the first time they’ve experienced severe pain. This is thought to be due to the nerve endings not working properly and sending pain messages to the brain.
There are a variety of pain killing medications (also called analgesics) available and the type you are given will depend on a number of factors:
All the health care professionals involved in your care will do their best to help with pain control. They will ask for more expert advice, for example from the specialist palliative care team or hospital based pain control team, if necessary. Whilst it is usually possible to reduce pain and make it more bearable, it is not always possible to take the pain away completely.