In palliative care pain is common but most can be treated with the help of health professionals. Pain is one of the symptoms that may worry you the most. You may not know how pain can be treated. You may think that pain is inevitable. Pain does not have to be a part of life with a terminal illness.
It helps to keep a record of any pain(s) that you or the person you are caring for have experienced. This can help you when you explain to your doctor or other health professional. Pain diaries or records can be used to monitor pain and what is being taken for pain.
Download the NPS Medicinewise: My Pain diary (518kb pdf)
My pain diary (518kb pdf)
Morphine is a medicine that is often used to help control pain. You may not be familiar with its role in managing pain. There are also medications other than morphine. You may be worried about using these types of medications. There are resources that can help to explain the benefits and side effects of morphine and other strong painkillers.
It is important that you talk to health professionals about pain. They need to know what is happening with your pain:
Let them know if you notice any side effects. Treating pain when it first occurs improves the chances that your pain can be controlled. Not treating pain as it occurs (e.g. 'saving painkillers until it is really bad') may make it more difficult to control.
Download Australian Cancer Council’s booklet: Understanding cancer pain (374kb pdf)
Visit Palliative Care Australia website for Facts about morphine and opioid medicines
Explore additional resources
Last updated 13 October 2023