How to Measure Your Pain And What’s An Acceptable Pain Level
“Oh just live with it and it’s all in your head”. I have heard those statements a lot in my 28 year career as a Physical Therapist. Part of those statements sound true however there is definitely more to the story. Recently, one of my patients told me that Arthur had come to visit. At first I thought what? Who in the world is Arthur? She then quickly clarified that Arthur is the nickname for her arthritis. She calls it that when it flares up. We both laughed and suddenly I wondered how many people out there just live with Arthur everyday and think that they have no other choice.
In physical therapy everyday we are constantly asking our patients what is yourpain today on a scale of 1 to 10? I am sure they all get tired of the question. Some even laugh and say I don’t even know. I just know I can’t look over my shoulder when I drive, or put on my shoes and socks or lift a gallon of milk off the top rack in the refrigerator. So what is your answer, on a scale of one to ten today? Are you above a six out of ten with your shoulder pain or your neck that is so stiff you have a headache?
Here’s what we tell our patients. Anything over a six out of ten is too much pain and there are things you can learn to do and things we can do in physical therapy to help you. You do not have to live with pain like that, period. Anything above a 6/10 is too much pain. Your mind and your body are so connected that you can deal with pain below a six, but when it rises above a six, it is way too much. Your body and your mind are so connected that we become frustrated and agitated when are pain goes to high. So don’t think just because Arthur came to visit he has to stay. There is a way to keep him from taking up permanent residence. We might not be able to get rid of him all together, but we can help you deal with him so your pain is below a six out of ten. So just come into physical therapy and we will help you find some answers.
Sheree DiBiase, PT and her staff at their Hayden Idaho, Coeur d Alene Idaho and Spokane Valley physical therapy locations can be reached at (208) 667-1988 and they are happy to help you learn how to keep Arthur from taking up residence.