UK – NICE updates guidance on chronic pain treatments

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published draft guidance which details how some commonly used drug treatments for chronic primary pain have little to no effect.

The draft guidance says that patients with chronic primary pain should instead be offered other services, including supervised group exercise programmes, some types of psychological therapy or acupuncture.

Chronic primary pain is a condition in itself and can’t be attributed to the existence of another diagnosis, and is not the symptom of an underlying condition.

It is characterised by emotional distress and functional disability, and includes chronic widespread pain, chronic musculoskeletal pain and chronic pelvic pains.

The guidance also recommends the possible use of certain antidepressants for the treatment of people with chronic primary pain…