Pain Clinic management must start with the patient. To manage it, pain first needs to be measured. The patient is the only one who can reliably say how much pain he or she is suffering, where that pain is located and how intense it is. Though it was not always the case, there is now general acceptance in the medical profession that this subjective evaluation of pain intensity by the patient is extremely important. It is common practice for nurses and doctors to ask patients to rate their pain on a scale of 0 to 10: 0 being no pain and 10 the worst pain they have ever experienced. According to the renowned expert of pain management, Margo McCaffery, “Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever he says it does.” That may sound unscientific, but science has no better way of measuring pain. However, science has made headway in standardizing the interpretation of what patients report about their pain.
To determine treatment, The World Health Organization suggests using, what it terms as, The Pain Doctors Ladder. This imaginary ladder has just three rungs. The bottom rung relates to mild pain, the middle rung to moderate pain and the top rung to severe pain.