Many of us have been long time Spine-Health members and also have been long time chronic pain patients.
We have seen and dealt with just about almost any item you can think about.
One item that we all feel is very serious is Pain Levels.
There are a lot of arguments regarding the validity of the current pain scale, but for what its worth, its the only official scale in place today.
What has been good, is that the pain scale is always visible in doctors offices, hospitals, ERs, etc. It has been very important to post this scales so that the patient can identify their pain level.
One definite observation is that many people tend to over state their pain level. We never question that a person is in pain, but when you read about a person have a 9 out of 10, or a 15 out of 10 or 20 out of 10, you have to stop think what is being said.
In reality when a patient reaches the 8,9 pain levels they basically can not take care of themselves and need to be seen by a medical professional, and perhaps the ER.
I've talked with some ER personnel, and they have told me story after story about patients coming in stating their pain level is a constant 9. One of the major reaons for saying that is they believe they can get pain medication. If they said their pain level was a 4, then they would probably not get any medication.
The time period of having pain also makes a difference. Many times you will hear about a persons who just started having back problems and they already are a 9 out of 10.
Then you talk with many long time chronic pain sufferers and they will tell you about the pain levels of 4, 5 or 6
The purpose of this post is to just let everyone know how the medical field views patients description of their pain levels.
A patient with a constant 5 pain level is many times taken more serious than when a person comes in stating they are a 15 out of 10
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences