Three new AHRQ-funded reports assess the effectiveness and harm of different kinds of chronic pain treatments. These systematic reviews present the current state of the science on treatments for the most common types of chronic pain. Researchers, policymakers, and clinical teams can use the reports to gain a better understanding of the impact of different pain treatments.
Overall, opioids have small benefit for treating pain and function but pose serious risks at higher doses. Non-opioid painkillers improve pain in a small to moderate range. Nondrug options (based on more limited research) have also improved pain in a small to moderate range.