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Visual Analog Scale (VAS) -- DIRECTIONS FOR THE PRACTITIONER

Monitoring the patient's subjectives, objectives, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging changes is an important part of determining the effectiveness of a treatment plan. Another method to monitor treatment progress is by Functional Outcome Measures.

These questionnaires measure the patient's function both subjectively and in activities of daily life (eg. reading, sitting, walking, driving in a car, etc.).  These pertain only to the neck and low back. Many others are available.

1. Give the patient the instrument and ask him to circle the number between zero and ten as to how the pain feels, in general, with zero being no pain and ten being the worst imaginable. If there is more than one body area involved, specify on the sheet which body area is being evaluated.

2. After 30 days, present the VAS from the previous visit and request the patient to again circle the number which best represents the pain, in general, with zero being no pain and ten being the worst imaginable.

In this case, the patient should see what was indicated before so that a relative selection may be made. Seeing the previous results is allowed with the VAS.

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