When it comes to pain there are no one size fits all experiences or solutions.
There’s a very famous quote that most nurses will be familiar with, even thirty plus years on:
Over the years pain control has improved generally, although it can still be a bit of a lottery when it comes to whether or not the person in pain will be in the care of the enlightened Doctor or Nurse. Getting on top of pain is essential to aid recovery, rest & healing & enable sleep.
After surgery in particular, it is especially important so that you can get moving!
As a body, in my experience Physiotherapists are generally at the pinnacle of understanding & responding to people in pain.
Some hospital Wards will use pain tools. These are extremely useful, as trying to describe the intensity & type of pain you may have can be really difficult: especially when you are in pain! They don’t have to be overly hard to use, but they do give the people looking after you some better insight into what your needs are.
Don’t wait to be asked if you are in pain, if you are. It’s a good idea not to rely on pain-killers to do all the work for you, as there will be times when you aren’t able to take them right at the moment – (although you should expect to be told why, if this is the case).
There are other things that you can try: positioning yourself in a way that is more comfortable, some people find a pillow “nest” really helps.
Supporting the “sore bit” with a cushion or pillow when you laugh (hopefully you can still laugh) or cough.
Good deep breathing has it’s uses & some people find it helps to listen to relaxation or meditation recordings, there are a number available on line these days.
“Distracting” yourself if you can with whatever works for you (reading, watching tv, listening to music etc.) can also be helpful.
I haven’t tried it myself yet, but have bought a couple of colouring books for adults for people in emotional or physical pain & distress & hear good reports about them.
Regular pain-killers can cause additional problems: constipation being a major one, so do keep drinking fluids as much as you are allowed & also if you can fibre-rich foods will help too.
Medical opinion is divided about the benefits of complementary therapy & some people won’t want to explore it, personally I have found that acupuncture/pressure & massage can help . You may want to discuss it with your doctor just to make sure that there aren’t any medical reasons for you to avoid the various therapies that are available first.
Whatever you do, please do try to get on top of your pain, it will help. Trust me I’m a Nurse!