Using a Pain Scale Effectively
It is Very important to be able to accurately rate your level of pain when communicating with your healcare providers. Many people I have worked with over the years have consistently rated their pain at levels 9 or 10 on the 0 to 10 pain scale. Part of this high rating may have been a misunderstanding of the pain scale. Another reason some of my patients would finally confide to me that they rated it so high in order for other people to take them seriously and/or give them something to help them better manage their pain.
Below is an example that might help you better understand the 0 to 10 pain scale in order to better evaluate and share with others the exact level that your pain is at. It will help you to more accurately rate your pain levels in the next exercise.
Remember though your pain levels tend to fluctuate—pain can ebb and flow like the ocean tides. Different physical and psychological situations can either amplify or sometimes even lower your pain levels.
As you review this ten point scale please think how you would describe each of the ten levels in your own words. The important thing is for you to learn how to communicate your levels of pain accurately to your healthcare provider.
Level 1 = My Pain Is Barely Noticeable
Level 2 = My Pain Is Noticeable With No Distress
Level 3 = My Pain Is Becoming Disturbing But No Distress
Level 4 = My Pain Has Some Distress But No Coping Problems
Level 5 = My Pain Has Distress With Some Coping Problems
Level 6 = My Pain Has Distress With Significant Coping Problems
Level 7 = My Pain Is Starting To Interfere With My Ability to Function
Level 8 = My Pain Is Causing Moderate Interference With My Ability to Function
Level 9 = My Pain Is Causing Severe Interference With My Ability to Function
Level 10 = I’m Unable To Function At All Because Of My Pain
Now please take a few minutes to write down how you would describe each of the ten levels of pain in your own words. Try to keep your descriptions brief and concise. The words you chose should let you accurately communicate with others what your pain is like for you at each level.
To learn more about improving your chronic pain management please check out my article Moving Beyond Anticipatory Pain for Effective Chronic Pain Management that you can download for free on our Article page.
If you’d like to receive training for helping people with chronic pain and coexisting disorders, including addiction, I’m very excited to announce we are once again presenting my Addiction-Free Pain Management® Certification Training in Sacramento on November 11-13, 2010 this time in our new office space. To learn more about this and my other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
You can learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you or a loved one is undergoing chronic pain management, especially if you’re in recovery or believe you may have a medication or other mental health problem and you want to learn more effective chronic pain management tools, please go to our Publications page and check out my books; especially the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Managing Pain and Medication in Recovery. To purchase this book please Click Here.
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