Pain Charts Are Biased

I have come to a conclusion: Pain scales and charts are biased against arthritis. And I have a wonderful argument of why.

First of all, it's easy to rate a single pain at its current condition. But when you're asking me of my general condition, most likely you won't get a right answer. You see, if some joints are a 3, two are 5 and my back is at a 9, when averaged out my overall pain is less than 5. However, my back is keeping me from living life. So... How does that work? Especially when your doctor says "Yes, your back is a nine but overall..." But all you can feel is your back?

With arthritis there are no zero/no pain days. There are 8/hurts a lot days, 6/hurts even more days, 4/hurts a little more and the occasional 2/hurts a little days when I'm lucky. But by no means are there zero/ no hurt days. I kind of feel cheated that my painful day is only a 8 but it won't be taken seriously. Another person with an 8 will be cared for (and rightly so), but when I have an 8 day I get an "I'm sorry" and frowny face. I hate that these pain scales and charts -that are meant for people in emergency situations- are often used in rhuematology. It feels completely inappropriate. And it is.


  1. Pain scales are stupid. I think we can all agree on that :p Everyone measures pain differently and like you said, it's hard to properly rate your joints "overall." Frustrating.

    1. It is so frustrating! Why do they need a number or cartoon face when they can be told in real words? It makes no sense. And it's true, everyone's different- an eight is different for everyone. :P


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