The treatment of noncancer pain in the United States and globally is met with significant challenges, resulting in profound physical, emotional, and societal costs. Based on this need, numerous modalities have been proposed to manage chronic pain, including opioid and nonopioid interventions as well as surgical approaches. Thus, the future of pain management continues to be mired in evolving concepts and constant debates. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the past as we move towards the future. The evolution of lessons for better pain management at present and for the future starting from the 1990s to the present date are reviewed and emphasized with a focus on learning from the past for the future. This review summarizes the evolution of multiple modalities of treatments, including multidisciplinary programs, multimodal therapy, interventional techniques, opioid therapy, other conservative modalities, and surgical interventions. This review emphasizes the individual, patient-centered development of an effective pain treatment plan after proper evaluation to establish a diagnosis. It includes measurable outcomes that focus on improvements in the quality of life and activities of daily living, as well as improvement in pain and function and, most importantly, return to productive citizenship. It is crucial that the knowledge of best practices be advanced, along with emphasis on lessons learned in the past to provide best practices for better pain management.
Keywords: Best practices; Better pain management; Evidence-based medicine; Interventional techniques; Opioid epidemic.