“Patients were asked to rate their pain on a scale of 0 to 10, and they were also asked the question, “Is your pain tolerable?”
Surprisingly, three quarters of the patients who rated their pain between 4 and 7 on the numerical scale, a range that typically calls for higher doses of medications, also described their pain as “tolerable” — a description that normally means no more pain treatment is needed.”
“Talk about function, not feeling
Be clear about how your pain interferes with daily activities, such as getting out of bed early, getting dressed, feeling fatigued, or no longer enjoying getting out with friends, suggests Maixner.
Thinking about function is key, agrees Markman. He says the most accurate measurement of pain may be what it prevents patients from doing. For example, if a patient cannot chew or talk, walk, or exercise that might be more disturbing to them than the pain. Sometimes it’s more useful to seek ways to “work around the pain” rather than “making it go away,” Markman says.”