Non-Pharmacological Options for Pain Management – Provider
Not all pain management requires the use of medication. Please see below for provider information on evidence-based, non-pharmacological treatment options that can be considered in treating pain.
- Opioids are not recommended as the first-line or routine therapy for chronic pain.
- Non-pharmacologic therapy and non-opioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred for chronic pain.
- If opioids are used, they should be combined with non-pharmacologic therapy and non-opioid pharmacologic therapy, as appropriate.
Effective approaches to chronic pain should:
- Identify and address co-existing mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD).
- Focus on functional goals and improvement, engaging patients actively in their pain management.
- Use disease-specific treatments when available (e.g., triptans for migraines, gabapentin/pregabalin/duloxetine for neuropathic pain).
- Use first-line medication options preferentially.
- Use multimodal approaches, including interdisciplinary rehabilitation for patients who have failed standard treatments, have severe functional deficits, or psychosocial risk factors.
- Non-pharmacological therapies (non-medication treatments): Referring to therapies that do not involve drugs.
- Non-opioid pharmacological treatments (medication treatments): Referring to non-opioid pain medications.
Non-Pharmacological Treatment Options for Pain
- This systematic review provides information on which noninvasive non-pharmacologic treatments for selected chronic pain conditions are associated with persistent improvement in function and pain outcomes at least 1 month after completion of treatment.
Summary of Non-Pharmacological Treatments