Post Operative Pain
Natural Solutions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Learn about the causes of Post Operative Pain & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Post Operative Pain within New Zealand.

Post-operative pain describes the pain and discomfort experienced after surgery, and has both psychological and physiological factors. It can affect all organ systems, and if not relieved can lead to delayed recovery.


Causes of post operative pain Post Operative Pain | The Wellness Directory
It is usual to experience post operative pain or discomfort after surgery as the surgical process typically involves damaging bodily tissue. In the majority of cases, pain eases as the body begins to heal. However, for some people, post operative pain can become chronic and there are a number of physical and psychological factors which may be the cause.

Physical causes

  • Nerve damage – this is one of the common causes of post operative pain. While surgeons try to avoid damaging the nerves, there can be times when minor cuts or over-stretching the nerve is unavoidable.
  • Scarring – as the skin heals after surgery, scar tissue begins to form. This tissue can pull on other tissues which surround it or irritate nerve endings. Some scar tissue can have nerve cells within it.
  • Damage to tissue – damage or removal of bone and soft tissue during surgery (particularly in joint replacements) is a common cause of post operative pain.
  • Inflammation – any inflammation surrounding the wound after surgery can cause pain.
  • Infections – surgical wounds can become infected which will also cause pain.

Psychological causes

  • Anxiety – a previous history of anxiety, or anxiety/fear about having surgery or recovering from surgery, can cause post operative pain
  • Depression – as with anxiety, a previous history of depression can lead to post operative pain. Depression can also occur due to post operative pain

Other causes of post operative pain

Existing medical conditions such as fibromyalgia can cause and worsen pain. There is evidence that surgeries which last longer that three hours increases the risk of chronic post operative pain while post-surgery treatments such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy can also exacerbate the problem.


Symptoms of post operative pain

The common symptom is an acute or chronic pain typically surrounding the surgical wound, although pain may radiate out to other areas of the body.

Pain may be accompanied by:

  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced mobility
  • Urinary retention
  • Constipation

Diagnosis of post operative pain

It is common to experience some pain or discomfort after a surgery but in most cases the problem eases as the body heals. If pain is chronic and persistent then it may indicate an underlying physical problem (such as an infection) or a psychological issue (such as anxiety or depression).

If you experience severe or persistent post operative pain after release from hospital then you should contact the surgeon or doctor who performed your procedure for advice. You can also ask to see your GP who will assess the probable cause of your pain, be it physical or psychological, and then suggest possible treatments.


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