Unifying Concepts

Numeric Pain Rating Scale

The numeric rating scale (NRS) is a single 11-point numeric scale broadly validated across myriad patient types. Data obtained via NRS are easily documented, intuitively interpretable, and meet regulatory requirements for pain assessment and documentation.
Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NRS)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 No pain  worst

The pain scores are interpreted as:

  • 0 = no pain
  • 1–3 = mild pain
  • 4–6 = moderate pain
  • 7–10 = severe pain



  1. Karcioglu O, Topacoglu H, Dikme O, Dikme O. A systematic review of the pain scales in adults: Which to use? Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Apr;36(4):707-714. [Medline]
  2. Ferreira-Valente MA, Pais-Ribeiro JL, Jensen MP. Validity of four pain intensity rating scales. Pain. 2011 Oct;152(10):2399-404. [Medline]


Created May 21, 2018.

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