Pain management and physiology
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What is the autonomic nervous system?
The nervous system that acts on involuntary functions - called 'rest and digest'
What is the somatic nervous system?
The nervous system that acts on voluntary functions such as reflex when touching something hot or sharp.
The autonomic nervous system works on two further systems - what are these called?
- Sympathetic - 'fight or flight'
- Parasympathetic - 'rest and digest'
What is the 'gate control' theory of pain?
When smaller nerve fibres send pain signals to the spinal cord, the theory is that the gate opens to allow the pain message to be sent to the brain. In contrast, if the larger nerve fibres are stimulated (such as rubbing site of pain) the gate is closed to stop the pain message getting to the brain.
What pharmacological methods of pain relief in labour are there?
- Entonox (oxygen & nitrous oxide)
What non-pharmacological methods are there of pain relief in labour?
- TENS machine
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