Pain Management in CKD: A Guide for Nephrology Providers

Holly M. Koncicki, Mark Unruh, Jane O. Schell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Although pain is one of the most commonly experienced symptoms by patients with chronic kidney disease, it is under-recognized, the severity is underestimated, and the treatment is inadequate. Pain management is one of the general primary palliative care competencies for medical providers. This review provides nephrology providers with basic skills for pain management. These skills include recognition of types of pain (nociceptive and neuropathic) syndromes and appropriate history-taking skills. Through this history, providers can identify clinical circumstances in which specialist referral is beneficial, including those who are at high risk for addiction, at risk for adverse effects to medications, and those with complicated care needs such as patients with a limited prognosis. Management of pain begins with the development of a shared treatment plan, identification of appropriate medications, and continual follow-up and assessment of efficacy and adverse effects. Through adequate pain management, providers can positively affect the health of individual patients and the performance of health care systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-460
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Pain
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • neuropathic pain
  • nociceptive pain
  • opioids, analgesics, review
  • pain management
  • palliative care
  • quality of life


Dive into the research topics of 'Pain Management in CKD: A Guide for Nephrology Providers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this