Multimodal treatment is often recommended for many pain conditions. Despite this, the concept of multimodal treatment remains subject to different interpretations, with no consented definition, and a lack of agreement on the discrete modalities that comprise such treatment across disciplines (e.g. physiotherapy, medicine). The International Society for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines multimodal treatment as “the concurrent use of separate therapeutic interventions with different mechanisms of action within one discipline aimed at different pain mechanisms”. The evidence underpinning the IASP definition is unclear, and a less ambiguous and more clinically relevant definition is needed. Poor conceptual clarity and the absence of a clinical relevant definition of multimodal treatment undermines the development of a robust evidence base, resulting in inconsistent and inadequate pain policies, pain care delivery, and pain curricula.
In order to tackle the conceptual inconsistency by generating consensus on a definition for multimodal treatment and its discrete elements (i.e., types of modalities), EFIC has created a task force on multimodal pain treatment earlier this year.