How Would You Describe Your Pain

Posted on October 7, 2019

By Alena Walrath, PTA

If you could give your pain a number from 0-10 with “0” being no pain and “10” being the worst pain imaginable, what number would you give it?

 You may have been asked this question before. While coming up with a number to describe your pain may seem arbitrary, pain scales are helpful tools for medical professionals to identify the proper treatment for your pain. In addition to a numerical scale, there are many other common assessments you may have seen that provide your doctor or therapist with valuable information about the pain you are experiencing.  

You may be asked questions such as:

  • Where is your pain located?
  • Is there a time of day when the pain is worse or better? Does it change after certain activities?
  • How would you describe your pain? Is it sharp, dull, shooting, throbbing, burning, tingling, constant or intermittent?
  • How long have you had the pain? Have you been dealing with it for months or years, or did it come about all of a sudden?
  • What makes your symptoms better or worse?

No matter what kind of pain you are having, pain is your body’s way of communicating that there is a problem and your response to the pain can help to prevent further damage.

Contact us if you have questions about how we can help manage your pain.