This pain scale was devised to help describe the subjective experience of pain to doctors and family.

Mankoski Pain Scale
Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997 Andrea Mankoski. All rights reserved.   Right to copy with attribution freely granted. - reprinted from the newsletter of the Post Polio Assn of South Florida May 2006

Tessa:  When we are asked to score pain on a scale of 1 to 10, a lot of people, especially women find this difficult.  Here at last is something with words not numbers that helps us to explain degrees of pain.

If you use this for your doctor, make sure you take this along to show him how you arrive at this rating as he/she is probably working from their own perceived scale.  So often, none of us are talking the same language and this lessens our ability to be really understood by our health professionals.  Pain is a warning.  Donít put up with it - do something about it!
Pain Free No medication needed.
Very minor annoyance - occasional minor twinges. No medication needed.
Minor annoyance - occasional strong twinges. No medication needed.
Annoying enough to be distracting Mild painkillers are effective. (Aspirin, Ibuprofen.)
Can be ignored if you are really involved in your work, but still distracting. Mild painkillers relieve pain for 3-4 hours.
Can't be ignored for more than 30 minutes. Mild painkillers reduce pain for 3-4 hours.
Can't be ignored for any length of time, but you can still go to work and participate in social activities. Stronger painkillers (Codeine, Vicodin) reduce pain for 3-4 hours.
Makes it difficult to concentrate, interferes with sleep You can still function with effort. Stronger painkillers are only partially effective. Strongest painkillers relieve pain (Oxycontin, Morphine)
Physical activity severely limited. You can read and converse with effort. Nausea and dizziness set in as factors of pain. Stronger painkillers are minimally effective. Strongest painkillers reduce pain for 3-4 hours.
Unable to speak. Crying out or moaning uncontrollably - near delirium. Strongest painkillers are only partially effective.
Unconscious. Pain makes you pass out. Strongest painkillers are only partially effective.