Migraine Pain Scale Effectiveneness

Published 01/17/13


In order to receive the best treatment options from your doctor, it's important to use the pain scale correctly when rating your migraine pain.


Hi. I'm Teri Robert, a migraine patient educator and advocate, and today I'd like to talk to you about how to use your pain scale effectively. Pain is very subjective, so using the pain scale can be difficult. Do your best to be objective and accurate when using a pain scale. Pain scales are usually zero to ten, but your doctor's may vary a little bit. Most doctors use a scale of zero to ten for scaling pain, and ten really is the limit here. It doesn't help to go for emphasis by saying your pain is at an 11 or a 13. in mind that one of the things your doctor is trying to do with this pain scale assessment is get a baseline of where your pain is at that time so that when you come back, he can compare it and see if your pain has gotten worse or better. So be as accurate as possible without exaggeration. On that scale, reserve ten for the worst pain of your life. Most people will tell you that they have never used a ten on that scale, because they keep reserving it for the worst of their life, and they hope that hasn't happened yet. Using the pain scale as effectively as possible is what will make it a better tool, both for expressing yourself to your doctor and for your doctor using it in documentation and making treatment decisions. There's another issue with the pain scale that needs to be discussed also, and that's that if you don't use it accurately, if you exaggerate to make a point, that's how we get out of line with our doctors. That's how I see it as a migraine educator and advocate. But I would recommend asking your doctor for more details, or go to Google and type in "pain scale" for more information. Thank you for watching.

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