The Five Measures of Pain and Improvement

If you have stiff, sore, achey muscles, or even a debilitating muscle spasm, I’m going to be looking at five measures of pain to help determine if continuing massage therapy and other therapeutic services with me (versus referring out to another therapist or physician) is worth both of our times.

Improvement in ANY of these areas is important, though improving ALL these pain areas with massage and therapy may take a lot more time.

The Quality of Pain

Most pain can be described using adjectives that might change over time. Here is a short list of the possibilities:

  • Ache
  • Stiffness
  • Soreness
  • Shooting
  • Stabbing
  • Throbbing
  • Dull
  • Sharp
  • Diffuse
  • Specific
  • Radiating
  • Numb
  • Hot
  • Grapping

As we go along in our treatment program together, pay attention to the quality of your pain.

The Life with Pain

Quality of life is one of the main issues that I consider when determining how successful your massage therapy treatments are. We look for objective, measurable differences in your ability to perform and complete tasks that are necessary and those that are enjoyable.

Most people I see at Lakewood Ranch Medical Massage are  dealing with pain that stops them from doing what they love. Golf, tennis, playing with the grand kids, going to Epcot. Others are dealing with pain that stops them from doing tasks such as drying their hair, putting in eye drops, getting up and down off the floor, and grocery shopping.

The goal is different from person to person. One client may have a sports injury and sports massage helps them to get back into their Cross Fit group, or Iron Man training, etc. A retiree who has never run a marathon isn’t going to want to start! They may just want to be able to have their grandbabies stay with them for a couple days and be able to keep up. Part of the in-depth New Patient Welcome Visit allows us to set goals together and come up with ways to track and measure progress.

The Intensity of Pain

We’ve all seen the 1-10 pain scale with the various smiley (and not so smiley) faces. Over the course of your first six treatments the intensity of pain will usually reduce.

The Duration of Pain

When pain happens (assuming it’s not chronic consistent all-the-time pain) it is usually present for hours, days, or even weeks at a time. Measuring the breaks between those times and how long it lasts when it does strike is one way we can measure our success.

The Frequency of Pain

85% of my low back pain massage clients have had previous incidents of back pain. Maybe it strikes every few years, then once a year, and then starts happening more regularly. Being able to space out the time between pain is one of the things we will be looking at together.


Are you ready to do something about it? 

If you’re ready to do something about your pain, call 941-676-3433 to book a New Patient Welcome appointment or click “Book Now” at the bottom of any page.