Treatment of Acute Pain

While these guidelines provide a pathway for the management of acute pain, not every patient will need each option and care should be individualized.

Non-Pharmacologic Treatment

Non-pharmacologic therapies should be considered as first-line therapy for acute pain unless the natural history of the cause of pain or clinical judgment warrants a different approach. These therapies often reduce pain with fewer side effects and can be used in combination with non-opioid medications to increase likelihood of success. Examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • Ice, heat, positioning, bracing, wrapping, splints, stretching and directed exercise often available through physical therapy
  • Massage therapy, tactile stimulation, acupuncture/acupressure, chiropractic adjustment, manipulation, and osteopathic neuromuscular care

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