How is pain treated after surgery?
There are many types of pain medicines. Depending on the surgery and the patient's health, a single medication or combination of medications may be used.
Studies show that patients who use pain medication (such as narcotics) early and aggressively after surgery have shorter hospital stays and fewer lingering or chronic pain problems later. They actually end up using fewer painkillers overall than those who avoid pain medication.
There is some evidence that extreme suffering from pain can weaken your body's immune system. The risk of addiction to pain medication is extremely low in patients using such medications for post-surgical pain.
For detailed information see: Pain medications
Max MB. Pain. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 28.