Pharmacology in Pain Management

Pharmacology in Pain Management

Introducing basic concepts on what a physio needs to know about pharmacology and pain


This course will review different pharmacological pain management drugs including their actions and side-effects. A topic expert will provide advice on the considering a patient’s pharmacological uses or needs during therapy. The course will not teach practical skills or lead to any clinical qualification or prescription rights.


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.


  • Watch a video interview with Joanne Morris
  • Read a related physiopedia page
  • Pass a quiz