Using the Pain Scale to Treat Back Pain
Author: Dr. Hamid Abbasi
DATE: 28 Jul 2016
Back Pain & Injuries
The pain scale is widely used in the medical world to communicate with and to patients about their pain. However, if you’ve never experienced severe or chronic pain, you may not even be aware of the pain scale, or how to use it. In this article, we are going to explain the standard pain scale used in the medical world to help diagnose patient pain.
The Pain Scale
Every patient experiences pain in their own way and many are unable to fully articulate the pain they are experiencing. The pain scale is a tool used by medical professionals to make a subjective thing (pain) as objective as possible. The scale goes from 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain at all and 10 being unbearable pain. Typically the scale is accompanied by cartoon faces that correspond with the pain levels. Here is a quick breakdown of the scale:
- 0 – No pain at all
- 1-3 – Mild Pain
- 4-6 – Moderate to Severe Pain
- 7-9 – Very Severe Pain
- 10 – Unbearable Pain
Communicating with your Doctor
If you are suffering from a back injury or condition, your doctor will likely ask you to rate your pain on the 0-10 scale. They do this to get a general sense of how you are feeling. During subsequent appointments, they will ask you for your pain level again to mark any improvement. Answer to the best of your abilities when asked.
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