Neuropathic Pain and Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review of International Guidelines

Diagnostics (Basel). 2021 Jan 5;11(1):74. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics11010074.


Background: Neuropathic pain is an injury or disease of the central and/or peripheral somatosensory nervous system, and it has a significant impact on quality of life, especially since it is often refractory to treatment. Rehabilitative intervention is considered in various guidelines on neuropathic pain treatment, although not in an organic nor detailed way. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze the most indicated therapeutic strategies, providing rehabilitative recommendations in the management of neuropathic pain.

Methods: A systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines. The scientific search, carried out until July 2020, considered guidelines in English language of the last thirteen years.

Results: Six guidelines were analyzed, from which emerges that a multidisciplinary approach, comprehensive of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions, should drive neuropathic pain management. A relevant role in non-pharmacological intervention is played by rehabilitation, through an adequate tailored rehabilitation program and physical therapies.

Conclusion: This analysis highlights the importance of rehabilitation but also the lack of evidence on various rehabilitative practices. Arises hence the need for further studies in this field to better define a rehabilitative treatment strategy.

Keywords: guidelines; instrumental physical therapy; neuropathic pain; recommendation; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review