Residents or family members living with chronic pain may experience pain hangovers when the pain subsides or when pain is better managed. Patient attitudes and beliefs about pain treatment and pain medication administration may vary when the pain subsides. For example, patients may refuse pain medication for fear of addiction and may try to endure lower levels of pain without therapeutic pain intervention.
Pain hangovers after a significant pain event may leave some patients too exhausted to return to their regular routines, or they may have trouble pacing themselves and try to do too much too soon. As a caregiver or activity professional, it is essential to recognize the after-effects of intermittent pain relief and connect with the interdisciplinary team and discuss the pain event and history to better gauge the assistance and educational intervention that may be needed after an exhausting chronic pain event.