My Pain is 10 out of 10! Humble Advice

Dealing with a spouse who has chronic pain we come across many others who go to the Doctors and when asked say
that the pain they are experiencing is 10 out of 10 or 12 out of 10. My humble opinion is this is harmful to your credibility and affects your relationship with your care providers.
10/10 pain you are calling emergency, sweating, puking…you would barely be able to talk.

More realistic is pain almost to 9 or 7 to 8.

Pain clinics goal is to take you to 4-5 range or lower if possible. Which still is hard to manage.


Yes, I agree 100% with Allyoops advice here. When you say your pain is 12 out of 10 they actually view that as harmful to your credibility and possibly malingering and exaggeration. 10 out of 10 pain is pain that causes you be on the brink of losing consciousness.


I’m sorry but this makes me laugh, the good ol’ pain scale question, most of the healthcare people except your own doctor is going to take what anyone says seriously (if the answer is high up on the scale).

I’ve filled out different forms for this pain scale question, some forms I’ve seen came with definitions and different entities will have different definitions for the same question.

One entity I filled this form out for was a pain & rehabilitation specialist, the definition for this doctor was 10/10 was bed bound most of the time. Other forms will define it as “as bad as it can be” or “1 is at it’s best and 10 is at it’s worst”. I’ve also discovered after getting the end of assessment reports none of the entities included in their reports “their” definitions to what 10/10 meant.

My spouse and I had separate work injuries close to a year apart at the same work place. So based on experience you can go to the clinics/doctors and fill out whatever scale you feel your pain is but 99.9% of them will not have a “proper” discussion with the patient about it.

There really is no “set” one definition for the pain scale question, and each and every one of us perceives pain much differently then the next person.

The very first time when I was asked this question by my family doctor and I really do mean 1st time ever “what is your pain on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the worst” he said (this was another definition “10 is at it’s worst”), I looked at my doctor and I said (with some curse words) “you have no idea how bad this is, an answer of 10/10 ain’t gonna cut it, this pain is beyond a 10 and don’t ask me to give you a number past 10 because this pain is far beyond what anyone could ever imagine, it’s beyond a 10”.

To me my pain was well beyond, it was without a doubt well past a 10/10. I never wished for death until I had this pain and to me that qualifies to be beyond a 10 and to me a 10/10 would still be medically controllable in some way. My pain was not medically controlled, my pain was severe, I was bed bound most of the time (can’t say all the time because you have to go to the bathroom and go to the doctors because they won’t come to you unless your up there in years and out of bed to eat).

The whole point of me sharing this is because I don’t want others to shy away from how they truly feel about their pain. Pain is different for everyone, to be the one not in pain it’s easy and natural for them to wonder and ask “how can it be beyond a 10”.

And where Mr. Brennan’s reply mentions malingering, credibility and exaggerating, doctors and insurance providers need to assess the whole person and not just a “number” given by the insured, the one and only report that I’ve seen that said I exaggerated, I did not take it as to mean that I was a liar because in the overall context of the report I did exaggerate my pain, I had said it feels like having your skin and meat ripped off your back from top to bottom (like scalping), it feels like I’ve been stabbed with a knife or been beaten by a baseball bat or been hit by a train. When I read the report and the WCB clinic said I exaggerated I got upset at first but then I read the definition of exaggerate and reread the report I agree I did exaggerate, anyone explaining that their pain feels like an axe just split their head (migraine sufferers) are exaggerating their pain but that doesn’t mean you are a lying by exaggerating in a bad way, pain sufferers need to exaggerate what their pain feels like, it is the rest of the assessment that assesses your credibility and malingering and secondary gain purposes.

Don’t be scared or shy away from explaining what your pain feels like to you in fear that someone will say you are exaggerating, exaggerating in the pain world is simply explaining something that is not there, “splitting axe headache” but you’ve never had an axe hit you…

I hope I made this make some sense to those reading this…

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