Scientific American | The Problem with Pain Scores

By Daniel Barron from

"As a pain physician, I always feel that the pain score (as it’s called) is a strange ritual. For one thing, a patient telling me they have “seven out of 10” gives me little to work with because while “seven” is a number, it isn’t an objective, replicable measure of pain. I ask patients to think of “10” as the worst pain they’ve ever felt or can imagine. But, as you might guess, because people's experiences and imaginations differ substantially, one patient might have a broken pinky, while another has a broken femur and both might (correctly and accurately from their perspective) report "seven out of ten" pain.

If my job is to find and fix the cause of someone's pain, a pain score isn't helpful to me." 

Read what is more helpful way to describe your pain --> 


We know how isolating it can be to have an invisible pain that no one understands. Thats why the Symptoms Log is all about communicating the experience -- how does it affect you? Writing it down in a journal when it happens puts that deeply personal experience into words. Those words are the first step to talking about your experience. By sharing something that is an important part of who you are, with those important to you, we hope our Symptoms Logs, and these tips, can help fill the emotional gap.

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