Management of chronic pain

Lancet. 1999 May 29;353(9167):1865-9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(99)04088-X.


Chronic pain is a common condition for which patients seek care from various health-care providers. This type of pain causes much suffering and disability and is frequently mistreated or undertreated. Patients who present for evaluation for chronic pain should undergo a careful assessment before therapy. Patients with chronic pain commonly experience depression, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and decreased overall physical and mental functioning. They frequently require an interdisciplinary model of care to allow care givers to address the multiple components of the patient's pain experience. After a careful evaluation, therapy may include medication, nerve blocks, active physical therapy, behavioural interventions, and assistance with vocational evaluation and training. Less frequently therapy may include placement of implantable devices to alter the pain experience. These patients suffer from a chronic condition and often require long-term care, with frequent reassessment and adjustment of therapy. Although cure is possible, it is also infrequent. Therefore, therapy is provided with the aim of decreasing pain and suffering while improving physical and mental functioning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Pain Management
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain* / classification
  • Palliative Care*