From Margo McCaffery, RN,MS, FAAN and Chris Pasero, RN MSNc: Pain Clinical Manual, 2nd Edition, 1999, p. 63. Copyrighted by Mosby, Inc. Reprinted by permission.
A Numerical Pain Scale
A numerical pain scale allows you to describe the intensity of your discomfort in numbers ranging from 0 to 10 (or greater, depending on the scale). Rating the intensity of sensation is one way of helping your doctor determine treatment.
Numerical pain scales may include words or descriptions to better label your symptoms, from feeling no pain to experiencing excruciating pain. Some researchers believe that this type of combination scale may be most sensitive to gender and ethnic differences in describing pain.