Levels of Pain: Tipping the Scales

As we go through our lives every day, we can encounter all sorts of accidents which will cause varying amounts of pain depending on the severity of the wounds we incur. Some small cuts and bruises can bring discomforting but tolerable pain. On the other hand, some may cut off our consciousness over the great amount of pain we feel such as dismemberment of a limb on a road accident. Indeed, pain can be classified depending on its severity, and distinguishing each can help us better understand what our brain is trying to tell is on the condition associated with such pain.

From a biological perspective, pain is our body’s ‘alert’ system. It is our brain’s way of telling us that something is wrong with our bodies. By determining the cause of pain, we can prevent further damage and alleviating the pain can mean that the issue is no longer prevalent. Depending on the severity of pain we feel, we can gauge just how much damage our body has incurred.

The first type of pain is the ‘psychogenic pain’ or pain felt from prolonged exposure to emotional, mental, or behavioral nuisances. Examples of these include back pain, headaches, and stomach pain from too much work. This type of pain usually goes away when the person is removed from the source. 

Next, we have the ‘phantom pain’ which is felt from the loss of an organ or limb. The inability of the body part to receive physical signals from the brain is countered by this form of pain. This pain is usually experienced by quadriplegics and amputees. 

We also have ‘acute pain’ that is felt suddenly but disappears shortly after. Lastly, the ‘chronic pain’ is the opposite of acute wherein it is felt for longer periods and can indicate other health conditions

Aside from the source of pain, we can also identify it through the level that we feel. The pain scale lists down the different intensities and behaviors of the people that have felt them. This is a form of assessment that enables professionals to gage pain from an objective standpoint based on accounts of others that went through them.

The scale starts at 0 and goes all the way to 10. Level 0 indicates no pain at all. In levels 1 to 3, the pain increases to the point of being noticeable, but still tolerable. Such pain arises from pinching, cuts, or injections. In these levels, the body is still able to adapt to the pain without much effort since it is still relatively weak.

Levels four to six fall to the moderate category. In these levels, the pain can interfere with daily activities and cause much discomfort since the pain is no longer adaptable. Incidents include a toothache, trauma to the body, and sprains. In level 5, the pain does not dull over time. In level 6, the pain begins to overdrive one’s senses, making it difficult to even think clearly. Performing activities can become almost impossible due to our inability to numb out the pain since it does not subside.

For levels 7 to 10, the body experiences severe pain levels to the point where we are unable to perform any activities and will require external assistance. Such is comparable to childbirth, throat cancer, and mutilated appendages. Those who experience it can also lose consciousness due to the brain’s excessive activity over the pain received. 

While pain varies among people, studies have been done to gauge it more accurately to improve our understanding of it. As of now, the different types and levels of pain help us paint a better picture of how our body works and how pain reacts to the different situations we encounter.