I hope this helps you because at some point in treating my Fibromyalgia, a doctor asked me to put a number value on my pain levels. One thing that we do know is that pain is subjective. What I think of as an 8 and what you think of as an 8 may or may not be the same.
I was really having a hard time assigning a number to my pain levels, so I made this pain scale. I took it to my doctor who received it well. From that point on, she seems to really understand my pain levels now and we have had much better success treating them.
Frequently, I see people whose doctors don't seem to be taking their pain
levels seriously. I hope that this pain scale can help everyone get the relief
they need by helping the doctors "see" what we are feeling.
(Written by Paula on the ‘Clouds’ message board.)
Please note: This is the pain level that is experienced AFTER taking the daily medication prescribed by your doctor.
1Very minor annoyance - mild aches to some parts of the body. No pain medication needed.
2Minor annoyance- dull aches to some parts of the body. No pain medication needed.
3Annoying enough to be distracting. Over-the-counter pain relievers (such as Naproxen or topical treatments such as Arthritis Pain relieving rubs) take care of it.
4Can be ignored if you are really involved in your work, but still distracting. Over-the-counter pain relievers remove pain for 3-4 hours.
5Can’t be ignored for more than 30 minutes. Over-the-counter pain relievers help somewhat (bring pain level from 5 to a 3 or 4) with pain for 3-4 hours.
6Can’t be ignored for any length of time but you can still go to work and participate in social activities. Stronger painkillers (such as Ultram) relieve pain for 3-4 hours.
7Makes it difficult to concentrate, interferes with sleep. You can still function with effort. Stronger painkillers (such as Ultram) are only partially effective. (Stronger pain killers bring pain from a 7 to a 4-6 level.)
8Physical activity severely limited. You can read and converse with effort. Stronger painkillers (such as Ultram) are not effective. (Narcotic painkillers do bring this pain down to a level 3 or lower level.)
9Non functional for all practical purposes. Cannot concentrate. Physical activity halted. Panic sets in. (Narcotic painkillers bring the pain level down from 9 to the 4-6 level.)
10Totally non-functional. Unable to speak. Crying out or moaning uncontrollably - near delirium.
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor. I am a fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue syndrome survivor. The purpose of this website is not to diagnose or cure any disease or malady, but is presented as food for thought. This information cannot take the place of professional medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician. No guarantees are made regarding any of the information in this website.