The Mankosi Pain Scale:
0 - Pain Free
1 - Very minor annoyance - occasional minor twinges. No medication needed.
2 - Minor Annoyance - occasional strong twinges. No medication needed.
3 - Annoying enough to be distracting. Mild painkillers take care of it. (Aspirin, Ibuprofen.)
4 - Can be ignored if you are really involved in your work, but still distracting. Mild painkillers remove pain for 3-4 hours.
5 - Can't be ignored for more than 30 minutes. Mild painkillers ameliorate pain for 3-4 hours.
6 - Can't be ignored for any length of time, but you can still go to work and participate in social activities. Stronger painkillers (Codeine, narcotics) reduce pain for 3-4 hours.
7 - Makes it difficult to concentrate, interferes with sleep. You can still function with effort. Stronger painkillers are only partially effective.
8 - Physical activity severely limited. You can read and converse with effort. Nausea and dizziness set in as factors of pain.
9 - Unable to speak. Crying out or moaning uncontrollably - near delirium.
10 - Unconscious. Pain makes you pass out.
The Hyperbole and a Half Pain Scale is more realistic but not what doctors seem to use...
Fuck - is that (the Mankosi) what doctors think chronic pain is about? My pain scale goes to 13 (set 10 years ago w/ ovarian cyst the size of a fist) - my 7 is closeish to theirs if by function with effort they mean I get 1 thing done before I'm toast (with Soma/ketoprophen). 10 is really nauseous due to pain, 11 is I'd really like to puke now and/or I've puked a bit, 12 is lots of puking, 13 is dry heaves from pain to the point that I am pulling muscles in my stomach/ribs/back... and I don't pass out from any of it (and since I have no insurance I just cope if it's something I know). Oh, and I can't remember the last day I started below a 5 - which is take a Soma and a ketoprophen (or carry them with if it's low effort errands), and get a few things done before the good day is over. Usually 11 or 12 has me wishing for death, at the same time I'm fighting to live and not hurt myself worse while I deal with this pain. Fucking ludicrous. Must remember this at next SSDI/Doctor conversation; no wonder they give people like us such a hard time.
ETA: On the other hand, the pain scale is actually pretty accurate when you use it for the numbness I struggle with. Just remove the painkillers/nausea from the descriptions and substitute numbness to 5 and burning numbness (like your arm fell asleep and is waking up - but whatever is burning numb never wakes up) from 6 up. I have yet to hit a 10 on the numb scale, but 9's definitely involve uncontrollable whimpering and tears. Also good to note/remember.