Often times they have a 1-10 scale with 10 being the worse pain you have ever had and 1 being the least or they may have a picture of faces with varying facial responses to pain to help qualify your pain. This is often used and although it is a method to address it, what is to say my 6 is not a 4 or even an 8. Looking for the underlying causes and what triggered it, and when and what has helped in the past or is this a new pain is even more at looking to what strategies we can employ to help you with your pain level. I have been asked myself in the past and I am not sure I can distinguish between a 3 or a 4 but I sure know that if I hit 8,9, or 10 that I really need help. Is there a better method, I am not sure but each person's pain is the level that they express as they are the only ones that can truly evaluate their level of pain and it is not up to me to question it.
We also need to look at the timing of the pain and the severity of it and again to describe it, I have heard patients say that their pain is exhausting, or just makes them feel miserable. That of course does not fall into a 1 -10 scale. Pain is different even if patients are experiencing the same condition. One breast cancer patient's pain does not necessarily equate to another breast cancer patient's pain. We can look at patterns and effectiveness and determine where we need to go from there. We need to continually reevaluate how we can improve pain assessment and develop new interventions as well as increase education. I know that most people need to realize and be asked how does that pain make you feel and what type of pain is it and how long does it last, all of which will help your healthcare workers to target your pain control better.
Thanks for checking in, I was off on a short trip to FL