Apr 22
Snubian Pain Score©
icon4 Apr 22nd, 2008 | icon2 Bric-a-Brac |

I have a very sore tooth. For the last few nights I have lain awake in the wee hours, my face a rictus of agony. (I’ve always wanted to use the word “rictus”, and now I have.)

As I lay there, jaw throbbing, trying in vain to get back to sleep, I thought about how painful my tooth was compared to other painful events in my life. This got me thinking about the inadequacy of existing tools for the measurement of pain level. I therefore present now the Snubian Pain Score© (SPS).

Here is a portion of the abstract from my forthcoming journal article [Snubian (in press) Snubian Pain Score: An experience-based pain measurement tool The Lancet]:

“This novel approach to pain metrics recognises, and accounts for, the fact that pain can be accurately scored only in relation to previous episodes of pain experienced by the individual in question. The strength of the SPS scale is that it must, by definition, be different for any person at any given time.”

Below is my current SPS. My tooth has an SPS value of about 7.6.

Snubian Pain Score

0 – Sipping cocktails under an umbrella in the Maldives

1 – Poking fork into face rather than mouth

2 – Licking the terminals of a 9V battery *

3 – Falling from upper bunk while asleep

4 – Finger jammed in toilet door/loss of fingernail

5 – Watching Big Brother

6 – Knocked unconscious by netball **

7 – Hit by car while riding bike

8 – Scrotum torn in go-cart accident ***

9 – Tearing back ligaments playing tennis

10 – Eaten alive by penguins

* I used to do this all the time when I was a kid – it’s a great way to tell how charged the battery is.

** This happened to someone else actually – they really should’ve been watching where I threw the ball.

*** This happened to a friend when we were about 15. Stitches were required, and we all shared his pain.

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