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An injured body part has its unique pain signal and should be treated differently depending on what has been injured and its severity. That is obvious, but pain hasn’t been measured, scaled or indexed very well before the Probaway – Pain Scale was published. With that scale available it becomes possible to identify and discuss the pain associated with different organs of the body. Clearly muscle pain is different from skin pain, stomach pain, bone pain, back pain, head pain, lung pain and heart pain. Each of these types of pain needs to be treated separately because they are different in origin and type of injury which they are reporting. A historical track record needs to be created for each particular type of pain, and a measure of what each intensity of pain indicates for a particular organ. Those observations determine how the pain should be treated and how long the various treatments might take to correct the problem which precipitated the pain in the first place.

Athletes in training expect to have pain when exerting their bodies to their physical limit. A controlled muscle pain is considered desirable and they have a motto, No pain no gain. A Probaway PAINS~7 for a few minutes of forced exercise which leads to a next day pain of PAINS~5 at first exercise, and a PAINS~3 on game day appears about right. A previous day’s pain level that would drop to a PAINS~3 after a minute of exercise might prove ideal for ramping up a particular muscle’s strength. A written diary of pain, and marking a given pain event on a printout of the chart seen below, would after a few weeks ascertain the ideal level of muscle pain for maximizing the intended benefit.

Pain from an injury varies with the activity of the moment, and a PAINS~7 might drop to a PAINS~3 after sitting quietly for a while, but will ramp up instantly to a PAINS~8 if a sudden movement is attempted. The same movement done very slowly might only attain a PAINS~4. The pain felt with a normal easy usage of the muscle, like lifting your resting arm slowly to your chest, is the one to be marked on your chart.

Cartilage pain is different from muscle pain and it should be treated very differently. Slightly overstressed muscles will recover and grow some in a week or less, however, cartilage pain if it indicates even a minor injury would take a month or more to recover. If these pains are measured, charted and careful notes taken it would then be possible to form a much better idea of how much stress could be endured, how much injury could be acclimated to, and how long that recovery would take, depending on the injury. When these are known an accurate graphical chart can be constructed similar to the generalized one I show below. This chart’s approximation of pain lines are speculative but they form a template upon which a more accurate one can be constructed from observed data.

Pain injury muscle recovery

Pain injury to muscles and an estimate of the recovery time.

The chart can be used as a guide for all types of pain, but different types of pain will have different curves of development through time. The muscle pain chart above is based on speculation and should be considered only as a point of departure for making diaries of actual observed pain and then marking on a printout of this chart, available below, how much pain is felt at the various intervals. Thus, after a muscle trauma of some known severity and pain level, as measured on the Probaway Pain Scale, has been charted, you will have a more accurate idea based on personal experience for future similar events. The same charting can be done for all other pains like ligament pain, stomach pain, emotional pain, or perhaps even phantom limb pain.

The plan is for some large group of dedicated pain sufferers, like football players, to collect this data and in a couple of years publish the results. It is likely that it will depart from the chart above, and probably form curves rather than straight lines through the time-pain matrix. That will only be known after a large number of data points have been collected on a large sample over a period of years. Different types of injuries will probably have unique but consistent trajectories across the chart. A professional football team will be the ideal sample group, as they are easy to track and are dedicated to rapid recovery from various injuries as it is an important part of their occupation. (To print with Internet Explorer – left click the chart, right click outside of the image, click print preview )

Pain Injury severity measured through time

A template for documenting injury and pain severity through time.

When pain is better understood it can be coped with better.