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Rate your pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Chronic Pain
Just wondering what other people's pain rate is. Whenever I see the PM they ask me to rate my pain. Without meds mine is 7-8. The only thing I have to compare "the worse pain you have ever experienced" is labor pains and kidney stones. Those were rated a big 10!! With my meds I would rate it about 4-5. Didn't know if I was being a wuss....

ACDF C3-7 2007-Symptoms worse now and also now bilateral

Current pain meds include: Lyrica, Hydrocodone and Methadone


  • Don't know about labor pains, but kidney stone i rated a 10 also. It's the way I judge all pain now. Haven't had back issues get that bad but, right now...i'm running a 3-4. That's with meds. This i can function with.
  • Ok-after I had my foot surgeries and the medication wore off the pain was ..I've had 2 kids.First son was born 25 yrs ago today matter of fact-that was a 27 hours of labor and 2 hrs pushing before they did the emergency C section.I've had 3,well 2.5 (lol) shoulder dislocations(I put the 3rd one in myself) and those were bad.Other stuff too,but I'd have to say the days that I had my feet operated on..dang I never swear in posts,I mean what's the point when you have to type it out you know...but when I remember that pain(#!@%)pins and rods and screws all sticking out of the cast...I imagine the bones were pi$$ed at being cut into and chopped off too.I can't compare anything to that.Nothing has ever touched that pain.

    So~ #:S Back to your question.Well,I don't use my feet surgeries as a guide-I mean I was in shock at some moments.When I was at my PM Friday I said 5 because it was drizzling and even though I took my meds I was in a bit of pain.It had been raining for several days at that point I was kinda miserable..but ok too if that makes sense.I really don't compare this pain,it's totally different than any other pain I've had.

    I don't like the pain scale...and that's the first thing he asks me every time,and every time I tell him "I don't like that pain scale" :??
  • I never really think about it,but that's a good way of putting it Jenny.It's there ALL the time.

    I really don't like to complain either,but geeze~I was going to say that I'd like ONE minute with no pain...but then I thought better of it because forevermore I'd want that minute back I bet :|
  • The wonderfull pain scale. I would have to say I have had the worst pain ever from back pain. I had 3 kids no c-sections. And never felt the pain like I get from my back. I sometimes get pain so bad that I can not breathe in which causes me to pass out. I have only experienced this with low back pain. When its that bad ER is the only route, but on a normal day I would have to say 5-6 semi bad days 7-8. Never have had a day without pain couldn't imange being pain freel.

    I like it when they give you a pic. and tell you to mark where your pain is, I just want to color the whole thing in. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

  • Worst pain was discogram and I cant fathom anything worse than that. I always rate my pain relative to the days leading up to that question from doctors. If I do nothing all day my pain is a 3 to 4, but on this same day if I went to a resurant and there was a bad chair it makes me head to bed and take meds and still cant handle the pain, 8 to 9?

    How do you rate this pain? Can you live a life of quality, yes. Can you live a normal life compaired to most friends and family, no. For me I can do ok with out pain meds, until I start to feel the pain, at this point 15mg of oxycodone and 10mg flexaril and I'm still in tears from pain. who knows?
  • Well, its hard. My pain tends to be worse when I get up in morning because often I don't take my meds on time in the morning or before going to bed.

    I've been having severe left arm pain and tingling in fingers for about 2 years. I have upcoming cervical spine surgery to deal with it. I'd say at its worst on a scale of 1 to 10 mine gets to 8. Gets to hurting pretty darn bad.

    A new development is that its happening on my right arm now too. I don't know if that is the same C5-C6 area causing that or not. I'll tell my Neuro surgeon when I see him again Nov 4th.

    Ken GreyEagle

    I take Morphine 15 mg 2x a day and Vicodin (don't remember dose) 3x a day, plus Lyrica 100mg 3x a day
  • I agree with some of you that for me it most often is not the level of pain, but just the continuouness of it. After a while it just wears me down so much after a while that I want to scream that I can't take it any longer. For me mornings aren't that bad. I think part of the reason is that the neurotin dose I am on at night helps. It is in the evenings after sitting at a desk facing a computer all day that does it for me.

    But about the pain scale... of course if the pain medication is working my pain isn't that bad. But I am never quite sure if they want to know about my pain without pain meds, my average amount of pain, my pain right at that moment,etc? When I ask they never seem to have a good answer either.

    So, right now on average my pain is about a 5-6.

  • the scale is that some of us have more pain tolerance than others. So what we might rate a 6 or 7 someone with a low pain tolerance may rate a 10. So it is not a good way at all to rate pain.

  • I rate my back pain about 6-7 w/o meds, w/ meds 5 if I am lucky a 4.My gout is in the 9-10 range, my nurse told me she has had 3 kids and has had gout(which is not often in women from what I am told) was worse!!!

    Combined I HURT BAD right now and these 10 mg norcos are not cutting it.
  • I now have 2 different opinions of the pain scale. The one before my last surgery, and the one after. My last surgery was so painful that I just couldn't stand it and that is now what I consider to be a 10. Prior to that surgery, I may have said my pain was anywhere from an 8 to 10 because I didn't know any different. Now if I feel the pain is an 8 to 10, it really has to be BAD! So when doctors ask this, how do they know what that persons tolerance is? What has happened in their past? This is a very good question!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,729
    Many of you who have read my posts regarding the current pain scale know I am not a big fan of those 1-10 scales!.
    This has all be discussed so many times here and how the pain level is very subjective.

    This is a different look at the pain scale. This time from the medical view.

    When a doctor asks you what your pain is today, people think that by giving a high number, they will stand a better chance in getting more or higher dosages of pain medications.

    When a Physical Therapists ask for your pain level,some people think by giving the higher number, that the PT sessions will be easier.

    This type of thinking can continue in so many ways.

    I believe that when a person has real pain,they should be able to communicate that to a medical professional without any problems. And without any fears that if they say a low number they wont get treatment. And on the other end by giving a high number gives them better chances for more pain medications.

    So part of why I dont like the pain scale is NOT because it may not be an accurate gauge, is because when you have any type of ranking system, some people are not going to provide accurate information and in the case with prescription drugs, some will lie to get more.

    I do not have a solution..

    Its good that there are doctors who know the truth when people provide them with than pain level for that day.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • This is why I like to bring my notebook with me. I can say... "today, my back is a 0, my hip is a 3, yesterday, my back was a 4 my hips 7" or something to that affect. I feel that shows that while I'm doing ok on that day, I am not always feeling that way... good or bad... That it changes from day to day.
  • Ron,

    Thanks for the great post!

  • We talked about it in the beginning. Maybe the first 3 or 4 appointments. But, in the past 8 years, the only time it even comes up is if I have reached a point where my pain levels have changed on a day to day basis.

    I definitely agree with Ron's assessment of the pain scale and my doc does too. My doc explained very early on, that if I was at a 10 I should be in the ER, and not in any shape to be at an office appointment. He's had many patients over the years who have "bumped up" the numbers to either get more meds or insure that they didn't lose the ones that they already had. Let's face it, if a patient walks in to the office, with a normal gait and a smile on their face, they can not be at a 9 or a 10. He says it's never hard for him to figure them out.

    I know that I can "function" in the capacity that I need to, at around a 5 or 6, but if my daily levels go above that range, we both know it's time for a change. I think how most of us guage our pain, is based on what our needs are on a daily basis. If a person can accomplish what they need to, with their current PM regimine and at a certain pain level, I think that is what becomes acceptable to them. My doc looks at it as either "reasonable" or "unreasonable" expectations. Every person is different as are each person's needs. If a person is still working, their acceptable pain level is probably different than someone who is not. I can get by at a 5, because I don't work anymore. If I were still out in the workforce, I don't think a 5 would cut it.

    Great topic Della!! Thanks! Mitzi

  • I have been a 8-9.5 without meds lately, 4-6 w/meds. Its so relative, my kidney stones were only a 5 (the ER doc kind of looked at me quizzically; I said relative to my normal back pain this is a 5).
  • pain scales don't mean a thing because each pain is different . example kidney stone pain is sever but different from back pain and foot surgery was very intense, left a hole in foot and put in pump to pump out crap, but different. broken bones bad but also different. inpossible to quantify pain when each part of the body creates different type of pain. weird but i took aleve for sinus pain and oxy did not touch it. also different meds work better for different pain. i am against pain scales for this reason also plus what ron said about people coming in and exaggerating pain to get meds and others who say it is not bad so they won't have to go to drs. i think when dr ask it is worthless because of all of the above

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • At my recent discogram after the dye was injected randomly L3-L4-Pain level at 1. L4-L5 pain level at 7, L5-S1 pain level at 10++. This last one was so bad that I went into shock.

    On a good day, my pain is pretty constant around 3-4 with shooting temporary bouts of 6-7. On a bad day, it is around a 5-6 with spikes of 7-8. Occasionally though I do have a 10. Prior to my last round of steroid injections I was at a 10-.

    One Love,

  • When I go to the PM doc, they always ask what is your pain level and where is it? Sometimes when I go in it isn't as bad as it was the day before or maybe it's not in exactly the same place as it was two days ago... What I tell them is what it normally is and where it normally is on average. I think if you don't, you might find yourself not being treated as aggressively as you need to be or it may give the doc a false impression that you are better than you actually are. Just my thoughts...
  • I agree with all of you.. :))(

    Friday when I was at the PM I heard a woman say '8' and she was smiling and talkative and nothing like me when my pain has been an 8.I should not even have heard her but that's another story.Anyway it made me think that either

    A.I need to be more openminded and not quick to jump to conclusions,or
    B.I'm doing this wrong... :??

    It's been a long time since my levels were at an 8.I feel lucky,or blessed in that regard.
  • what fries my cakes is when you are dying with pain and someone says"you look good today" i guess if i walked around with a grimmace, and moaning to get all that would be ok. sometimes people go to their drs with a pained look on their face and the dr believes they are faking it. i think they suspect people who are overly dramatic with their pain. 99% of the time people would not know i was 7-8 pain if they looked at me. a kidney stone is different though. you do look as bad as you feel. when sciatic pain is real bad it also shows up on my face. but 7-8 i can deal with it

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I had 3 worse pain levels you can have.
    Kidney stones that are STUCK 10+
    My appendix that was inflammed 10+
    When the numbing agent wore off in my right arm after they removed all 3 bones out 10+ (should of been in the hospital for 24 hrs but they want you in and out)
    Those were all with screaming, crying and I do not even want to know what my bp was at that time.

    My back pain without meds 8-10+
    With meds 5-6 which is a big relief from a 10 so I'm fine. Ok mabye not fine but I deal ;)
    Only time it is 0-2 is when I have taken 15 mg of percocets, 10 mg of valium and 350 of soma.
    But how often is that when you can only get meds post op for like 2 months :/ :/ :/ :/

    The only time I have ever been pain free is when I came out of surgery this time. I had some burning and nausea in recovery but by the time I got back to my room I was a VERY HAPPY PERSON :D :D :D :D
    Why oh why cannot it be like that all the time :? #:S ;)

  • This is the exact same way that I look at it. I couldn't agree with you more! =D>
  • Fries my cakes, I love it! LOL! =))
  • Pain doctors are trained to be able to detect fake pain from real pain. I would think that if you have been with the same doctor for a while, he would be able to know what is real and what is not. Even when I'm happy and smiling, and not complaining, while visiting with family or just with my husband, I may not act like I'm in massive pain, but it shows on my face. That you can't hide no matter what!
  • ya know your right.
    i never thought about that.
    we can go out and i can have a smile on my face. dressed to the "T" but you can see it in my face.
    very good statement =D>
  • I just don't see how anyone can seem happy when at 8,but I know all about trying to cover up and not wear my heart on my sleave when I'm out in public.

    As far as the 'you look good today' experiences go,I don't seem to get too many of those.. :))( ,and totally agree with the DRAMA.

    I really think the eyes are the windows.A good doc can probably tell,at least somewhat.They are trained after all.

  • I can actually be in a lot of pain and still have my happy moments. For instance, Christmas. I'm happy to be surrounded by my family and the special day. I can still enjoy myself, but the pain is still there. It just depends on the circunstance!
  • i normally am a happy upbeat kind of guy and i walk around smile and say good morning even when i am in pain. i don't go around with drama on my face. walking is a different matter. i can't hide the fact that it is painful to walk. i still think my co workers think i am making much about nothing. i get vibes of who is he trying to fake? i am in pain when i walk and i use a cane. this i cannot hide. but i still smile etc and pain does not show on my face.
    people especially workers and bosses don't want to know or believe you are in pain. if you are you are a determent to the job. they think if you are in pain why are you here? you can't win for losing with jobs. bosses don't want to know hear see smell feel any kind of pain with respect to workers. in fact they look at it like a problem with you

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I've had knee surgery, that wasn't bad after the first 2 days, I was back to school AND work and I only took ibuprophen for pain the entire time. I'd rate that pain experience overall at a 5 (when compared to my back). My current pain is an 8 for the most part. If I do anything other than lie in my bed and lie down at work (I know I'm lucky with this part!!! :D ) my pain gets worse. I have to go to school, I've given myself no other option in this, school makes me hurt terribly. My meds are highly inadequate. Yesterday, I pushed myself to go visit with two friends I hadn't seen in years. I said, "Ladies, do you know how special you are for me to go out and sit on a couch?" They looked at me like I was crazy until I explained about my back. Once I explained, they were very understanding. Last night and this morning, my pain was an 8-9. My legs were bad too. When I go to the doc, I try to put on a strong face but by the time I walk all the way in, sit in a chair to wait, then wait for the doc, my pain is usually through the roof AND I can't hide it in my face. I try not to talk about my pain at appointments because my doc is not nice and I'd rather not deal with his accusitory ways. He has basically told me that SOMEONE MY AGE should suck it up and continue operating at maximum velocity. I asked if I would be treated differently witht ehsame condition and pain if I was 40. He said nothing, but his look told me everything I needed to know ~X( :''( ~X( . Needless to say, I'm waiting to see a new doc because this is unacceptable to me. I was in the hospital recently because I lost control of my bowel while standing in my kitchen. The doc asked about my pain, I said no worse than a normal bad day. He looked very worried after I received morphine, went to the MRI, then came back writhing in pain. He said, "Didn't the morphine help?" I said it did but having to lay still for that long was so painful, it was like the med wasn't in my system. Soooo... He gave me another dose and it worked on my pain. My BP went down 35 points. He was concerned when he saw what my normal BP was. I liked him, he validated my pain with the look on his face.

    I suppose my answer to the original question is I DISLIKE PAIN SCALES. When I had emergency surgery my bleeding cysts, chronic appendicitis, and endometriosis, the pain was a 10 but it went away and I was back to working full-time in a week. I suppose, like many of you, not only is my back pain severe, but it is unrelenting so it makes it worse. I can't work full-time for the first time since I started working at 15 (I worked 3 jobs). To experience such high pain levels that cause loss of livelyhood for so long, I don't think anything that goes away, like surgery, could even come close.

    My back is the worst pain I've ever had because it doesn't go away and I can't do anything a normal vibrant 21 year old can do! What I wouldn't give to go dancing one night, or even sit at a bar.

    Sorry for the long post, it's a great topic and it really got me going... #:S

    Pain scales are not effective.

  • a lot of this stuff with pain scales and pain specialist started a few years ago when advocates went before congress and lobbied for pain patients. a few years ago there were complaints that chronic pain patients were either ignored or under treated for their pain. drs would not give anything or help at all. the laws loosened up and now we have pain drs pain scales and advocates. good and fine but even though we have these, the dea still treats pain drs as legalized drug dealers and looks at chronic pain patients as drug seekers. they won't tell you this publically but this is what goes on behind the curtains. pain scales are there to protect the patient and the dr. but do drs really take pain scales at face value? i don't believe they do. it is there so pain drs can say see i help pain patients. i am a bit cynical about this but a pain scale has not done anything for my treatment. the dr still won't up my pain meds even if i say pain is at a 10. this is just an example. i don't tell him this. but if i did nothing would happenn. i think it would be a red flag with him. i just keep my mouth shut and give my standard answer, it is at a 7-8 and smile

    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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