Numeric Pain Rating Scale
Gauge the pain of your patient by implementing this easy-to-use and free printable Numeric Pain Rating Scale! It’s also good to reissue every now and then to monitor your patient over time.
What is a Numeric Pain Rating Scale?
Pain rating scales are tools that doctors, physical therapists, and adjacent healthcare practitioners use in order to help assess and understand the level of pain that a person is experiencing.
Besides assessing and understanding the level of pain, pain scales also help healthcare practitioners make well-informed and accurate diagnoses as well as formulate carefully-considered treatment plans for their patients.
These tools come in different forms. The version we’re discussing for this short guide is the Numeric Pain Rating Scale.
The Numeric Pain Rating Scale is a type of unidimensional pain scale. Unidimensional pain scales are easy to use and come with words, images, or descriptions to measure pain. In the case of the Numeric Pain Rating Scale, this one comes with numbers, from zero to ten. A person simply needs to rate their pain based on written prompts.
Printable Numeric Pain Rating Scale
Download this Numeric Pain Rating Scale and assess the extent of your client’s pain.
How to use the Numeric Pain Rating Scale
Ask the patient about their pain and where are they feeling the pain.
During your appointment with your patient, ask them about the general or specific areas of their body that feel painful. This is so you have a baseline idea as to what the problem might be.
Issue the rating scale to your patient and have them rate themselves.
Introduce the Numeric Pain Rating Scale to your patient and have them look at what the scale looks like, the score ranges, and their designations.
After that, have them rate themselves between zero to ten based on these prompts:
- How would you rate your pain RIGHT NOW
- How would you rate your USUAL level of pain during the LAST WEEK
- How would you rate your BEST level of pain during the last week (by BEST, meaning the lowest level of pain)
- How would you rate your WORST level of pain during the last week
If they are unable to answer the scale by themselves (physically), it’s okay for them to have someone assist them.
Determine what goes into your treatment plan.
Once you receive the fully-accomplished Numeric Pain Rating Scale, get the average score based on the ratings given for prompts 2 to 4, compare it to the pain rating of what they feel now, and then you may proceed to develop your treatment plan and determine what goes into it based on where they are feeling the pain and how they have rated their pain.
Numeric Pain Rating Scale Example:
Here is a filled-out Numeric Pain Rating Scale sample, to help give you better insight into how the resource works. Although the answers included on the scale will depend on the severity of your patient’s condition, this sample should help consolidate your understanding of the template’s function.
Download this Numeric Pain Rating Scale Example (Sample) here:
When does one typically use the Numeric Pain Rating Scale?
Immediately. Given that your patient is feeling pain, you need to work to address that so it’s best to issue the scale during your appointment, whether it’s face-to-face or online.
You may also reissue this from time to time in order to better gauge the levels of pain your patient feels over time, and see if their symptoms are getting better or not. As to how often you will reissue this is up to you, but do keep in mind that the rating scale will ask the patient how they felt during the past week. Ideally, issuing this once a week or every two weeks is good.
Who can use this free printable Numeric Pain Rating Scale?
The following healthcare practitioners are likely to often use the Numeric Pain Rating Scale:
- Physical therapists
However, even if your specialization isn’t on this list, you will still be able to use the scale. Any healthcare practitioner with a client who is dealing with physical pain can use this scale for their practice, to help assess pain levels in an efficient and standardized way.
Why is this scale popular and useful for doctors, physical therapists, etc.?
Because it is easy to use, both on the part of the practitioner and the patient.
Just to reiterate, the Numeric Pain Rating Scale is quite easy to use since the patient simply needs to rate themselves from zero to ten.
On the part of the practitioner, they simply need to take note of the level of pain the client is feeling now as well as calculate the average pain level they felt last week.
Practitioners can come up with treatment plans immediately.
Given that it’s easy to use and that you simply need to average the scores based on the ratings, you can immediately start working on treatment plans for the client. The process of assessing and treating becomes quick and effective when you use this scale.
Commonly asked questions
The patient can dictate the number ratings they have for themselves to a companion and have them select their number ratings. If they don’t have a copy of the scale at the moment, then you can do it on your end by answering the scale based on your patient’s answers. That’s how easy it is to use.
The ratings will depend on the patient. On the part of the practitioner, what they need to do is simply get the average of prompts 2 to 4 and then compare that with the rating for the level of pain that the patient is currently at. The average score and the rating for the pain they’re currently feeling should help with determining the treatment plan.
In a sense, yes. This pain scale relies on the patient’s assessment of their pain levels. You will be basing the treatment plan based on their ratings. You will be adjusting according to subsequent results as well if you reissue this test to them. The rating scale has number range designations, giving it a semblance of objectivity. Your decisions regarding their plan will be based on these ranges.
What are the benefits of using the Numeric Pain Rating Scale?
You can use it anywhere!
Given that it’s easy to access and implement, you can use this scale during face-to-face appointments, or even online if the patient can’t make it to face-to-face appointments.
You can use it to monitor your patient and your treatment plan!
In order to see if your patient is getting better or not, you may reissue this pain scale every now and then, ideally once a week or every two weeks given that they have to look back on how they felt the week prior to answering the scale.
It’s also a good way to check if your treatment plan is working or not. If it doesn’t seem like it’s working based on the scale results, you can modify what you think needs to be modified and see if it’ll be better.
Why use Carepatron for physical therapy software?
Here at Carepatron, we care about helping healthcare practitioners improve productivity and efficiency, especially when it comes to streamlining their clinical documentation. By taking advantage of our easy-to-navigate EHR system, you’ll gain access to a wide variety of physical therapy assessments such as the Numeric Pain Rating Scale!
You can even store this and other assessments in a HIPAA-compliant manner and secure them by setting up who can access these documents besides you.
Not only are our physical therapy software and assessments intuitive, but they’re also easily accessible and adaptable! Imagine your patient consulting you over a video call or phone and they don’t have a copy of the Numeric Pain Rating Scale. You can simply grab a copy yourself (in print or digitally) and indicate the patient’s self-ratings as they dictate them to you!