Pain is the most common presenting complaint heard in Emergency Medicine, yet it is poorly controlled. Evaluation of this pain should be with use of objective pain scales completed by the patient, not relying on physician impression. Treatment modalities available in the Emergency Department, a review of medications and their dosing as well as specifics to pediatric pain management are presented. The final section reviews situation or diagnosis specific pain control: headaches, renal colic, polytrauma victims, abdominal pain, soft tissue injury and acute arthritis. These recommendations are based on a Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) consensus conference held in April 1993. The literature was reviewed extensively and used as the basis for the consensus workshops and discussion. At the writing of the consensus paper, however, no specific ideas were borrowed from any one article. The appended bibliography is suggested reading, selected from the larger literature review. There are to date few controlled multi centre trials in overall pain management that would allow guidelines to be produced.