Pain Scale for Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Pain Scale for Fibromyalgia

    The article below was written by Paula on the "Clouds" message board. The information is located at www.voxau.com/fib/fibro/19pnscl.htm - Dominie

    I copied this info for you from Dominie Bush's site, www.fms-help.com - jlh


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    Pain Scale for Fibromyalgia

    I designed this pain scale as a tool to help the Fibromyalgia patient clearly communicate to his/her doctor the pain levels that he/she is experiencing.

    I hope this helps you because at some point in treating my Fibromyalgia, a doctor asked me to put a number value on my pain levels. One thing that we do know is that pain is subjective. What I think of as an 8 and what you think of as an 8 may or may not be the same.

    I was really having a hard time assigning a number to my pain levels, so I made this pain scale. I took it to my doctor who received it well. From that point on, she seems to really understand my pain levels now and we have had much better success treating them.

    Frequently, I see people whose doctors don't seem to be taking their pain levels seriously. I hope that this pain scale can help everyone get the relief they need by helping the doctors "see" what we are feeling.
    (Written by Paula on the ‘Clouds’ message board.)

    Please Note:
    This is the pain level that is experienced AFTER taking the daily medication prescribed by your doctor.


    0 - Pain free.

    1 - Very minor annoyance - mild aches to some parts of the body. No pain medication needed.

    2 - Minor annoyance- dull aches to some parts of the body. No pain medication needed.

    3 - Annoying enough to be distracting. Over-the-counter pain relievers (such as Naproxen or topical treatments such as Arthritis Pain relieving rubs) take care of it.

    4 - Can be ignored if you are really involved in your work, but still distracting. Over-the-counter pain relievers remove pain for 3-4 hours.

    5 - Can’t be ignored for more than 30 minutes. Over-the-counter pain relievers help somewhat (bring pain level from 5 to a 3 or 4) with pain for 3-4 hours.

    6 - Can’t be ignored for any length of time but you can still go to work and participate in social activities. Stronger painkillers (such as Ultram) relieve pain for 3-4 hours.

    7 - Makes it difficult to concentrate, interferes with sleep. You can still function with effort. Stronger painkillers (such as Ultram) are only partially effective. (Stronger pain killers bring pain from a 7 to a 4-6 level.)

    8 - Physical activity severely limited. You can read and converse with effort. Stronger painkillers (such as Ultram) are not effective. (Narcotic painkillers do bring this pain down to a level 3 or lower level.)

    9 - Non-functional for all practical purposes. Cannot concentrate. Physical activity halted. Panic sets in. (Narcotic painkillers bring the pain level down from 9 to the 4-6 level.)

    10 - Totally non-functional. Unable to speak. Crying out or moaning uncontrollably - near delirium.



  2. jakeg

    jakeg New Member

    I'm at an 8 also all of the time.
  3. cczub

    cczub New Member

    I’d have to say I’m a 6-7 on a normal day and during a flare a 8-9…

    Today I’m around a 6! It’s a good day. Yesterday was even better around a 5.
  4. SunnyShine

    SunnyShine New Member

    I really appreciate you posting this. I have a hard time rating my pain/mood/fatigue/etc. with numbers (somehow my brain has a hard time making the calculations). This scale is really helpful.

    I'm running in the 4-6 range depending on what kind of day I'm having.
  5. greytmom

    greytmom New Member

    If I try to titer my pain meds down like the dr's always want you to, you set yourself up for a flare which rockets you into the ozone. If you maintain you get "used to" the level and need more and more when a bad day hits. I can only make it if I keep a "happy" medium and allow for any flares with a buffer of meds when needed.
    This also makes it hard to try new meds, I have to maintain one level while adjusting to a new med, then try to reduce one of the old ones it is their to replace.
    And of course, the weather changes, you have a bad day or the planets allign and it set you back to start all over again. No wonder we can't get "better".
  6. myjoy

    myjoy New Member

    I'd say I'm at a 6, most of the time. I've not been lower than a 4, in almost nine months. I've never been above a 9. It puts things into perspective.

    This is interesting. I may take it to my doctor.
  7. BEARANDBUGSMOM

    BEARANDBUGSMOM New Member

    I am about a 7 or 8...


    Thanks!
  8. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I'm going to my Rheumy tomorrow. I dread the trip, because my pain level is about a 9 right now.

    jlh
  9. blkkat

    blkkat New Member

    HELLO, ID SAY IM A 9 /10 MOST OF THE TIME, BUT WHY? I THOUGHT I WAS ON MEDS THAT SOUNDS LIKE FROM THIS SCALE IT SHOULD GO DOWN TO A 4-6, NEVER HAVE I BEEN ANY LOWER ON MEDS,(30 MGS PROZAC)-(NEUROTIN-400 MGS)-(30 MGS OXYCODONE)-(20 MGS OXYCONTIN)- AT BEDTIME I TAKE(1.5 MGS CLONAZEPAM)- (800 MGS MUSCLE RELAX) AND OFF OF MEDS ,WELL YOU CAN GUESS WHAT I DONT WANT TO DO. GOD BLESS BLKKAT
  10. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    I think many of us do..
    I range between 5..and 8.
    I am thankful that at this point I haven't hit 9 or 10! and I don't hit 8 very often...and when I do it isn't for long.
    Most often I would say I end up the 6 to 7 range of things, and that makes life a challenge..and often quite boring!LOL
  11. twitcher

    twitcher New Member

    It's hard to rate though because I don't take meds. and I have a very high pain tolerance. I just try to block it out....
  12. suzette1954

    suzette1954 New Member

    the kind of pain Im in even though he has the little scale where you mark from 1-10 on the line, he doesnt get it.

    He told me and my husband on Mon. that my fibro isnt getting worse, Im becoming addicted to the darvocet and loratab and he will not give me anything stronger. He wants to cut back on the darvocet even though my husband(who is my hero) tried to tell him I cry most days.

    I was always able to handle pain before this DD. I had both of my boys natural without even a tylonol and every surgery Ive ever had they said I was the best patient as far as pain control. It is so disheartening to not only now be in the #9 range everyday, but ya'll are the only ones who understand what its like.

    Suzette
  13. sfrazier

    sfrazier New Member

    I would say i'm between an 8 and a 9. my narcotic painkillers never bring my pain level down to a 4. the best i've ever seen in almost 4 years now is a 5. however i am able to do simple excerise such as walk the dog and grocery shop as long as at least one of my kids are with me. as for carring on a conversation well that has been a problem since i first got this which is partly why i am unable to work. i also have a hard time spelling anymore to.....SueF