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.

Noninvasive strategies and techniques

  • Manual therapies
    • Physical therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Massage
    • Chiropractic care
    • Taping (kinesiology tape)
    • Hot & cold therapy
    • Postural training
    • Pool or floatation therapy
  • 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
  • Assistive devices
    • Braces or supports (neck brace; shoe orthotic)
    • Mobility device (wheelchair; cane; cane)
    • Decompression device (traction unit; tilt table)

Complementary medicine

  • Acupuncture or dry needling
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art, music, or dance therapy
  • Floatation therapy
  • Mind-body techniques
    • Meditation
    • Relaxation techniques, including visualization or body scanning
    • Biofeedback or neurofeedback
    • Hypnosis
  • Psychotherapy
    • Group therapy
    • General counseling
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Reiki, craniosacral therapy or other energy work
  • Reflexology

Medication

  • Vitamins and herbal supplements
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescription medications
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Antidepressants,
    • Benzodiazepine
    • N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Opioid therapy
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Topical agents (g. lidocaine, capsaicin, and ketamine)

Invasive procedures and surgeries

  • 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)