Online Course
Pharmacology in Pain Management
Introducing basic concepts on what a physio needs to know about pharmacology and pain

1.5-2 hours





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The most common clinical presentation most physiotherapists see is musculoskeletal conditions and the pain related to that. When treating a patient it is important to consider the medication they are taking for the condition and other conditions. A wide range of medications are used to manage pain resulting from inflammation in response to tissue damage, nociceptive- and neuropathic pain. It is important to understand the limitations of the pharmacological management of pain and the importance of combining pharmacological approaches with non-pharmacological and self-management strategies. The therapist should be able to recognise side-effects from medication and know when to refer the patient back to the prescribing doctor. This course will review different pharmacological pain management drugs including their actions and side-effects.


This course aims to expand your knowledge on the different pharmacological pain management options, their actions and side-effects as well as provide advice on treating patients and considering their medication use or needs.


The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Watch a video interview with Joanne Morris
  2. Reading activity
  3. Quiz

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.

Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 1.5-2 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.

Types of Activities - Watching videos, reading, a final quiz and participating in an international discussion forum.

Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 1.4 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • identify 2 legal or ethical dilemmas with regards to physiotherapy and pharmacology
  • select 4 reasons why a physiotherapist should have an understanding of pharmacology
  • list 4 actions and side-effects of non-opioid, opioid, and adjuvant pain medications
  • choose 3 uses of topical and local anaesthetics in the management of pain


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.

Featured reviews
I work as a First Contact Practitioner-Physiotherapist in London. Excellent course to understand the action of commonly used drugs for physios!
Daksha Acharya
United Kingdom
It's a wonderful short, precise and comprehensive course that every physiotherapy practitioners should do, especially to educate patients about the appropriate outcome of both exercise and pharmacotherapy.
Dony john
A fantastic insight into pain medication. If you want to be positioned well as a Physiotherapist in a multidisciplinary world, knowing the effects and appropriateness of drugs allows honest conversations with patients and colleagues. A great presentation not just for yourself as a clinician, but definitely a good step forward for Physiotherapy.
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