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  • Pain Scale

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    Old 01-27-2010, 11:36 PM   #1
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    Post Pain Scale

    IMHO, proper understanding of the pain scale is critical. Unfortunately, it's misunderstood by many patients and thus, may be responsible for incorrect treatment. Good congruency between one's pain and the pain scale is very important. One of the biggest mistakes CPers make, is not correctly communicating their pain. PMs use a common scale of 1-10 to diagnosis a patients pain level, and will put a lot of emphasis on this rating as to decisions they make re: possible treatment plans.

    The pain scale, working backwards:

                  The above is by no means the gospel. However, I would say it does a pretty good job of describing pain in general. Again, one of the biggest mistakes a CPer makes, is not correctly assessing their pain. Most patients underestimate their pain, thus causing under treatment. If you don't communicate your pain correctly, the PM won't be able to help you as much as he/she would otherwise.

                  However, it's equally important that one doesn't overstate their pain either, or you may not be taken seriously. For example, if you're joking around with the Doc about something that was on the news, or last nights American Idol show, chances are you don't have an "8" or "9."

                  A general rule of thumb in PM is for treatment to reduce one's pain by at least 30%. Applying this to the pain scale, if one starts at fairly regular level of 7 or 8 (before PM intervention), then a level around 5 would be a reasonable target goal. It's very possible, however, that pain responds much better to treatment, and one's pain is lowered by a very large amount.

                  Some pain on the other hand, is so great, that only a modest reduction is possible. These cases are usually very challenging for PMs and often result in high levels of narcotic therapy.

                  Lastly, some PMs will use a 1-10 scale, with pictures of faces corresponding to each #. This scale should be considered nearly identical to what I outlined above.

                  Regards,

                  Ex

                  Last edited by Administrator; 02-22-2010 at 07:16 PM.

                   
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