Moving away from medicines: an overview of chronic pain management
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Moving away from medicines: an overview of chronic pain management

Charlotte Bacchus Lecturer in adult nursing, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To update your knowledge of the latest guidance on managing chronic pain

  • To recognise the importance of reducing medicines use in chronic primary pain management

  • To consider which non-pharmacological interventions could be effective for people experiencing chronic pain

Chronic pain can be debilitating and affects an increasing number of people in the UK due to an ageing population and the rising prevalence of comorbidities. Chronic pain can be primary, where it is not accounted for by another condition, or secondary, where it results from an underlying condition or injury. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published updated guidance on the assessment and management of chronic pain in adults. This article explores the latest recommendations regarding medicines use in chronic primary pain and outlines appropriate non-pharmacological management strategies. It also discusses some of the barriers to implementing chronic pain management interventions, and provides advice for nurses caring for patients who are experiencing this type of pain.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2023.e11957

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Bacchus C (2023) Moving away from medicines: an overview of chronic pain management. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2023.e11957

Published online: 06 February 2023

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