The McGill Pain Scale- a comparison tool

I stumbled across the McGill pain scale while doing some research on Fibro pain and found it super interesting and helpful. I’m stoked they are finally ranking Fibromyalgia in comparison to other “visible” pain so that people can understand how serious and REAL it actually is.

On a ranking of 0 – 50 with 50 being the most intense pain possible, Fibromylagia ranked at 30, right below childbirth and equal to AS. It surpasses non-terminal cancer by 6 points.

The McGill Pain Index was first developed in 1971 as a way of gauging the quality of pain. It was developed at McGill University by Melzack and Torgerson. When creating this index they included such things as sensory qualities (skin color, temperature changes, pressure, sensitivity), affective qualities (tension, fear and autonomic properties), and evaluative issues that are help pinpointing the intensity of the pain. This Index is used by doctors and hospitals around the world and is considered a very valuable tool when looking at chronic pain It is considered to be a valid, reliable, consistent, and above all, useful instrument.


Because pain is a private, personal experience, it is impossible for us to know precisely what someone else’s pain feels like. No man can possibly know what it is like to have menstrual cramps or labour pain. Nor can a psychologically healthy person know what a psychotic patient is feeling when he says he has excruciating pain…There is a remarkable consistency in the choice of words by patients suffering the same or similar pain syndromes

–Wall, P. D. And Melzack, R. (1994), Textbook of Pain, Churchhill Livingstone, New York, pp. 339-345. Be aware that this pain component may be relieved by specific sympatholytic procedures

One thought on “The McGill Pain Scale- a comparison tool

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s