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Types of treatment options

Here is a working list of treatment options for pain by category. We encourage you to print out this list and bring it to your clinician to see which therapies they might recommend.

Self-management techniques

  • Activity restriction or modification
  • Assistive devices or technologies
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Exercise and strengthening programs
  • Meditation and mindfulness strategies
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Support groups
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Stretching and mobility programs

Restorative therapies

  • Chiropractic care
  • Decompression (traction units, tilt tables)
  • Exercise
  • Hot & cold therapy
  • Massage
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Pool or aquatic therapy
  • Postural training
  • Strength training
  • Taping (kinesiology tape)
  • Stretching programs, like Pilates, yoga, or tai chi

Complementary and alternative medicine

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art, music, or dance therapy
  • Color therapy
  • Cupping
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Floatation therapy
  • Herbal supplements
  • Hypnosis
  • Reiki
  • Reflexology

Medications

  • Acetaminophen
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Herbal and vitamin supplements
  • N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications
  • Opioid analgesics
  • Medical cannabis
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Topical agents (e.g. capsaicin, menthol, lidocaine, diclofenac)

Mind-body approaches

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Biofeedback or neurofeedback
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychotherapy
  • Stress reduction techniques, including visualization or body scanning
  • Support groups
  • Virtual reality

Noninvasive interventions and procedures

  • Electrical nerve stimulation
    • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit
    • Interferential current stimulation (ICS)
    • Percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (PENS)
    • Percutaneous neuromodulation therapy (PNT)
    • Bioelectric therapy
  • Electric, light, and laser therapies
    • Ultrasound therapy
    • Infrared light therapy
    • HIVAMAT therapy
    • Cold laser therapy

Invasive interventions and procedures

  • Injections or blocks
    • Trigger point injections
    • Nerve, facet & medial branch blocks
    • Epidural injections
  • Neurolysis or ablative techniques
    • Chemical sympathectomy
    • Cryoneurolysis or cryoablation
    • Thermal intradiscal procedures (e.g. intervertebral disc annuloplasty or IDET and transdiscal biaculoplasty)
    • Radiofrequency ablation/lesioning (also known as rhizotomy)
  • Regenerative therapies
    • Platelet-rich plasma therapy
    • Prolotherapy
    • Stem cell therapy
  • Implanted pain device (e.g. spinal cord stimulator)
    • Intrathecal pain pump
    • Spinal cord stimulator implant or peripheral nerve field stimulation (PNFS)