National survey data indicate that more than 25% of American adults suffer from pain that lasts for more than 24 hours in duration. Chronic pain can have a devastating impact on an individual's relationships, daily functioning, and employment. Although the treatment of pain is something that clinicians face every day, providing optimal care for these patients can be difficult. Many clinicians feel that managing side effects, identifying and managing potential drug abusers, and navigating regulatory and legal issues can make pain management a complicated undertaking. This review discusses key patient assessment and treatment strategy tools, together with common medico-legal concerns to assist clinicians in more effectively managing their patients' pain.