Headache intensity

The headache intensity describes the severity of the pain. In headache diagnostics and in scientific studies of headaches the intensity of the pain is usually described in a verbal 4-point rating scale:

  • 0=no pain
  • 1=mild pain
  • 2=moderate pain
  • 3=severe pain

Alternatives are for example:

  • The visual analogue scale (VAS) uses a line with or without gradation. The pain intensity can be marked on the line between the endpoints.
  • The numeric rating scale (NRS) specifies a numerical series for example from 0 to 10.

The VAS and NRS have not proven to be very practical in headache therapy which is why the 4-point scale is favored.