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When you go to your doctor, one of the first things they will ask you is:

"On a scale of 1-10, where is your pain level?"

But they fail to give you any degree of pain measurements to go by, so FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES has come up with our version of the Pain Scale. Feel free to print this and use it for future reference.

Level 1:

You experience very minor pain in parts of your body. You don't have to take any pain medications and you can do your work with no problems.

Level 2:

The minor pain has increased to dull aches in some parts of your body. You don't have to take medication and you still can work as usual.

Level 3:

Your minor pain is strong enough to get your attention. You resort to Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications.

Level 4:

The pain is getting stronger, you are taking more OTC medications but they don't last long. You begin to cut back on your activities in favor of just sitting down.

Level 5:

You can't ignore this pain for more than an hour, even with OTC Medications. You cut back of all activities except the most important ones. Work is possible, but just barely.

Level 6:

You simply can not ignore your pain for even a few minutes. Prescription pain medications provide you with limited functioning abilities.

Level 7:

This level of pain is the kind that keeps you awake at night, makes it hard to think and act. Your prescription medication only dulls the pain for a short time. You limit your activities in order of importance. You really can't work well.

Level 8:

This is serious pain. You don't want to do anything or be bothered by anyone. You have taken so much pain medication you are unable to fully concentrate on anything. Work is out of the question.

Level 9:

Very serious pain here. You can not concentrate on anything but pain. You should not do business transactions or make any important decisions because of your limited mental state. You can not go to work and you shouldn't drive a car. At this point you begin withdrawing from the world around you.

Level 10:

Pain has made you totally unable to function. You don't want to deal with or talk to anyone. Even with narcotic pain medications you are still in horrible pain. You go to bed or go to the emergency room for any help you can get.


This is how we have divided the pain scale into a workable reference guide for you. We hope you can use this as a guide when you visit your doctor and have to describe your pain. Our optimal goal of course, is to stay with in the range of 1-4 or even to get to 0 pain level, which is NO PAIN!

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