Pain Scale for Pain Relief

“What is your pain level today?” asks the nurse at your pain doctor office.

“Uhm, Ah, it’s about 5 or 6 today, I guess”, you hesitate a little long time and reply.

Do you really understand the question?  Here we try to clarify the pain scale, so you can firmly understand.

The majority of pain management doctors in the Pinellas area, use a type of pain scale to obtain a subjective assessment.   Pain scale is a progressive measure of the quality of pain.  The scale is from 1 (least pain) to 10 (most pain). It is critical for a pain patient to understand the pain scale so that he or she can be congruent in reporting the quality and quantity of pain.  The nurse records the level of pain on the pain scale for every visit.  It is part of the assessment in the treatment plan.  The chronic pain patient who understands the pain scale correctly, will report the correct level of pain.  The doctor diagnoses and treats chronic pain patients, and depending on the level of pain and prescribes the treatment accordingly.

So you see it is very important for pain patients to report the correct pain level number on the pain scale. (History of Pain Scale).

The pain scale (1, 2, 3… – 10 ) is working backward such as:

A “10” is the most worst pain, at this level it is compared with pregnancy child labor pain, you cannot move anywhere, you are just crinching and suffering, if patient reports lots of “10”, physicians do not take the chronic pain patient seriously, because the pain level number “10” is very obvious both physical and emotional suffers.

Pain Rating Scale
Pain Rating Scale (Photo credit: Pinkpollyanna)

A “9” is the pain that causes patient to be in bed most of the time, it is very physical likes just right after surgery, right after you get your molar tooth pulled, you hate to talk with blood in your mouth.   The pain level number 9 is the time of pain right after surgery, you don’t move very much.

A “8” pain level,   the chonic pain patient misses work, cannot do lots of activity, cannot concentrate the mind for more than two hours, because pain interferes with normal daily life,  patient needs to take medication to subdue the pain  It is serious pain, even breathing is sometimes difficult.

A “7” pain level, strong deep pain causes chronic pain patients to stop working majority of the time, he or she cannot think clearly,  this pain level is comparable with a major pulsating headache.  Patient is partially disabled and just wants to be in bed and resting.

A “6” pain level, it is a pulsating pain, deep, the pain grabs you frequently, it is like a bad back pain, combined with a bee sting, you need both medication and numbing lotion to alleviate the pain.  The pain comes and goes but you cannot work without distraction.

A “5”  pain level,  this pain is like a bad, twisted ankle, you cannot put pressure on it, cannot do anything, the pain will increase if you press on it.  At this pain level, you need to rest, want to be alone.  You cannot do the normal life routine.

A “4” pain level, the pain is piercing but dull, it is comparable to an injured big toe, it hurts and you need to pay attention to it.  You need to do something to relief the pain, you need to put ice on it.  Stop doing other thing, try to relief the pain or at least don’t make it worse.  You cannot adapt to this pain, it is a strong deep pain.

A “3” pain level, it is similar to you have a deep cut, or a blow to the nose, or an injection it is painful, but you can just rub on it, or put ice on it, you can adapt to it and live with it.

A “2” pain level is compared to a pinching pain, it is not deep.

A “1” pain level is minor pain

Now you know the pain scale, you should read it carefully and consult it to report to your pain relief doctor.

However, some physician office can use different types of pain scale, so you need to ask to understand.

Does your doctor use the same pain scale or does he use frown face pain scale?  Does the scale is from 1 to 10 or the scale is from 1 – to 5?  if you have any question or suggestion, please let us know in the comment section.

Pinellas Park Pain Management doctors (c) 2014




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