serendipitous reflections

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pain scale

Patients can be very funny in their responses. When I first check a patient, I will feel motion in their spine and check for tenderness or pain. If there is tenderness/pain, I will have them rate it from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable). Some patients will give me the "it's not so bad ... maybe an 8" while others give me "oh, that's tender, that's the spot" but when I ask for a number, they say "no pain." I used to ask myself if maybe I needed to say it differently, but I've realized there is no other way to say it and just chuckle to myself now.


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