Assessing the Severity of Your Head Pain
Head pain varies for each of us and it differs even more in how subjective each evaluation will be for the pain. Pain that is considered mild by one person could be considered severe by another individual. Migraines are also in another pain class as well, namely because they are more than just a headache. Migraines tend to range from moderate to severe pain and they can limit activities and essentially incapacitate a person due to the pain and accompanying symptoms.
Measuring the severity of head pain is a challenging and difficult process, mostly because it is difficult to come up with a tool that is consistent and scientifically accurate. The burden of reporting the pain is on the sufferer. For migraines and other headaches, the intensity of the pain tends to be the dominant aspect of the condition. Still, there are ways to assess the severity of head pain that can help you to monitor your head pain as well as helping your doctor to understand the impact of headaches or migraines on your daily life.
Using A Ten-Point Pain ScaleA ten-point pain scale is a common one and while it can seem more complicated than a five-point pain scale, it does leave more scope for describing the pain. However, challenges of a ten-point scale mean that it is extremely subjective to the extent that a sufferer may question whether a headache or migraine yesterday that was a seven may still seem different than a headache today that was initially given the same rating. A sufferer could also wonder about ranking a headache or migraine as a ten. He or she may wonder if by assigning a ten to the headache, this is indicating that the pain can't get any worse.
The Mayo Clinic has a Chronic Pain book that is a helpful reference point for assessing pain. It does use a ten-point scale, where zero refers to no pain at all and ten is extreme pain that is intolerable. The scale is as follows:
- 0-1 No pain
- 2-3 Mild pain
- 4-5 Discomforting - moderate pain
- 6-7 Distressing - severe pain
- 8-9 Intense - very severe pain
- 10 Unbearable pain