Pain is a personal experience that is unique for each person. Your healthcare provider will regularly ask you to rate your level of pain, usually on a 0 to 10 scale -- 0 for no pain, 10 for the worst pain.
Together, you will agree on a comfort goal. A comfort goal is a level of pain that is tolerable and allows you to participate in other important parts of your recovery, like deep breathing and walking.
There are many kinds of pain medication -- and many ways to take it. At first you'll probably receive your pain medication through an IV. Your IV may even be attached to a pump that allows you to control your own pain medication with the touch of a button. Later on, you'll probably use pills to manage your pain.
Before you go home, your healthcare providers will go over a pain treatment plan with you, including how to gradually reduce the dosage and frequency of pain medication as you recover.