A variety of medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs), steroids, opioids, neuromodulators/neurotransmitters, and bisphosphonates, can be used either alone or in combination. Although the goal is to use the fewest number of medications needed to control pain, often multi-drug therapy can be beneficial. Additionally, cancer pain can be treated with chemotherapy, bisphosphonates, and radiation therapy. Sometimes surgery is used as a method to remove a source of chronic pain.
Pain management strategies can also include complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and massage, which may enhance more traditional types of treatment. Most of these strategies are used together and can work synergistically with medical therapy.
Because of the wide variety of conditions which can cause pain and individual responses to treatments, pain management is tailored to each individual patient based on the underlying cause of pain, as well as their response to therapy.