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What is a Visual Pain Scale?

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Visual Analog Pain Scale

Visual Analog Pain Scale

Chris Adams, copyright 2006, license to About.com
Question: What is a Visual Pain Scale?
Answer: A visual pain scale, also known as a visual analog pain scale, is a useful device for accurately determining your level of pain. Using a visual pain scale is quite easy. You simply indicate the intensity of pain you are feeling on a colored gradient and graduated line.

Using a visual pain scale is more beneficial than a descriptive version ("I feel terrible") because it helps you rate your relative level of pain without other thoughts and preconceived notions getting in the way. By not having to verbalize and describe your pain, you can get a truer understanding of what the level of pain actually is.

Rating your pain using a visual pain scale can be useful when trying to describe your discomfort to your physician or judge how well any treatment options or preventive strategies you're using are working.

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