Blog · Complex Regional Pain Syndrome · CRPS · Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy · RSD

The McGill Pain Index Scale 


Did you know that Causalgia is Latin for “burning pain” it was the first name coined for CRPS
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
( Found At RSDHope)


The pain that one feels with CRPS/RSD is a burning, stabbing, and shooting type of pain. It is considered to be one if not the most painful long term condition there is. On the McGill Pain Index it scores a 42 out of a possible 50, above both childbirth and amputation.The chart above gives you a visual of the type of pain that someone living with CRPS/RSD has to deal with. 

With pain as intense as this it is key that it be diagnosed as quickly as possible. 

Often however the pain goes misdiagnosed, diagnosed too late, or the patient is told that everything is all in their head.  

Although there isn’t an accurate number of how many people are living  with CRPS/RSD between 80 and 120 million people live with some form of chronic pain. CRPS/RSD  is a VERY REAL illness that causes suffering that you can’t begin to understand unless your living it! So the next time you come across someone living with chronic pain please don’t tell them it’s all in their head. Chances are pretty good that it isn’t and that the pain is very real.