Subjective Pain Scale
When you go to the doctor or, the emergency room for anything to do with your pain you will likely be asked, “How does your pain rate on a scale of one to ten?”
Anyone who has been living with chronic pain for any length of time knows that the one to ten scale does not allow us the ability to fully describe our pain. The one to ten scale paints only a part of the complex picture that makes up chronic pain. When we are asked the “one to ten” question, it is never easy to answer. We find ourselves frontloading the reply, explaining to a doctor or nurse why the number is not accurate, and how our answer is not going to be the same as an acute pain patient.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was another way?
For someone with Fibromyalgia, the pain threshold (the point at which something becomes painful) can be very low at “tender points“. The overall pain tolerance, the amount of pain one can take before breaking down, in other areas may be high.
We all feel pain differently.
Andrea Mankoski was looking for a more subjective way to describe her pain. Realizing that using the traditional one to ten method was lacking in information that painted a full picture of pain, she created the “subjective pain scale.”
This scale uses not only numbers but a greater, more detailed description of the pain quality. Also included in the scale is a way to express the level of activity one would be able to accomplish at that level of pain, and the sort of medication it might take to alleviate, or at least, make the pain more tolerable.
Using this scale at your next doctor’s appointment or if you find yourself at a hospital may help you, and your treating physician, get on the same page about your pain.
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Jules Shapiro, June 12, 2016