Pain rating scale chart

Unlike Hollywood and the science fiction writers who invented telepathy years ago, real humans can’t tell what each other are thinking or feeling. So, at one end of the scale, this limits the experience of sex to whatever is going on in our own heads. At the other end of the scale, doctors have no way of knowing exactly how much pain is being experienced by their patients. All they can do is ask. But asking is where the real problems begin. As we grow up, we learn all about pain when we fall over or bump into furniture. Our parents and anyone else around us show us how we are supposed to respond. Boys may be encouraged to get up and fall over again. Girls may be cuddled until they stop crying. Stereotypes can be reinforced from the earliest of ages. So when we are all grown up, how do we react to pain? As men do we smile as if nothing has happened? If asked, do we deny feeling anything? As women, do we immediately admit pain, possibly shedding tears to prove the point? We may all have our own scale from 1 to 10 where ten is the worst pain we have ever felt. But how does that scale compare to your scale? If I say the level of pain I feel is a 5, is that a 3 or maybe even a 7 for you? So what dose of painkillers is the “right” dose? Well, modern technology is trying to produce a more scientific way of measuring pain using brain scans. If this research is a success, it should reduce overprescribing potentially addictive opiate drugs. Although there are nerve endings all over the body, all the messages signaling pain are processed in the brain. That’s why painkillers target the neurotransmitters and block the messages before they reach the conscious levels of the brain. There’s a new technique using an MRI scan. It’s called arterial spin and it seems to show changes in brain activity associated with pain. Now comes the difficult part. The brain is like a computer with massive processing power and memory storage capacity. Scientists know roughly where different functions are carried out, but the effective use of this technology requires a precise map showing exactly which parts of the brain deal with pain messages from different parts of the body. So far, the researchers think they have found the bit that registers lower back pain. In a study involving 32 people, half of whom had chronic lower back pain, the participants were asked to move in the same way or were subjected to heat. The patients then assessed how much pain they felt and these subjective findings were matched to their brain scans. The results are encouraging and may lead to the development of a more objective method of measuring pain. Future tests are being planned before and after treatment. So, for example, patients will be assessed before and after taking the Tramadol dosage suggested by the subjective reports of pain and body weight. If the level of blood flow and neuron activity changes as predicted, this will allow doctors to give individual dosages rather than dosages based on averages. Tramadol is a great drug so it’s only right you should get it in the best dosage.

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Filed under: Measuring Chronic Pain