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Centre for Orthopaedics
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Singapore, 329563, Singapore
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I've heard that you can tell by which words people use to describe their pain where the pain is coming from and if it's all emotional. What are the words they use?

A group of researchers at McGill University in Canada developed a widely used pain assessment tool. It's called the McGill Pain Questionnaire. There are several parts to the questionnaire. One is a survey of descriptive words used for pain.

By adding up the type and number of pain descriptors, it is possible to identify some general categories for the source of pain. For example, nerve pain is often described as hot, piercing, or shooting.

Muscle pain is more likely to be described as sore, dull aching, hurting, or a heavy sensation. Vascular pain is most often described as throbbing.

When there is a strong emotional component to a person's pain, certain words are used more than others. For example, torturing, killing, cruel, or vicious are words used when the person is responding to their pain on an emotional level.


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