Neuropathic pain is a common chronic pain condition that can be challenging to treat, particularly for non-specialists. The development of the Map of Medicine care pathway for the management of neuropathic pain was led by the British Pain Society. Focusing on treatment by non-specialists, this pathway is based on new evidence, consensus, and the interests of service users. This paper presents the care pathway and accompanying evidence base, highlighting its salient features, and discussing important treatment points. After initial assessment, the pathway progresses through first-, second-, and third-line drug treatment, includes advice on topical treatment and opioids (in specific circumstances), and describes non-pharmacological approaches. Importantly, timely review of patients and referral to specialist secondary or tertiary care must be considered as vital components of the pathway. Although the emphasis was not on specialist treatment, advice is given on existing interventions, including neural stimulation and multi-disciplinary care. These, and other steps on the pathway, will be subject to further review as more evidence becomes available. In the meantime, the pathway represents a straightforward, valuable and accessible approach for healthcare professionals managing the distress and impact of neuropathic pain.
Smith, B. H., Lee, J., Price, C., & Baranowski, A. P. (2013). Neuropathic pain: a pathway for care developed by the British Pain Society. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 111(1), 73-79. https://doi.org/10.1093/bja/aet206