The pain experienced by patients with SCD is unique and complex. The physical cause of pain is the tissue damage that results from the sickling process and vascular occlusion. Pain may present as acute or chronic and can be recurring.
The management of this pain needs to take into account various factors such as pathophysiology, psychosocial factors, culture, and spirituality. Pain management in SCD includes assessment and monitoring of pain, use of both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic modalities, and follow-up planning.