the pain scale

The pain we feel is very personal to us as each person feels pain differently. 


When asked “how does the pain feel?” it is sometimes hard to explain in our own words and can be misleading to a health professional.


The pain scale unifies our interpretation of pain using numbers and descriptions.  It is easier to give pain a number from 1 to 10, but what do those numbers mean?  Often people will opt for the higher numbers on the scale, but once the full description is read they lower their pain rating number.  For me, the description is far more important than the number.

I have used the pain scale to explain to health care professionals the pain I am suffering.  I found it enabled them to better understand what I was feeling and ultimately help me.

Please look at the pain scale as an aid to understand pain, its meanings and how each level is described.

Rate your pain using numbers and then read the descriptions and re-rate your pain.  Are they the same numbers?

The pain scale is widely and commonly used in the NHS.

UK pain chart

what the numbers mean

pain meaning discriptions for the uk pain chart