The aim of this study was to examine the basic social psychological process of managing inadequately relieved pain in adults. Transcribed data from 23 ambulatory medical visits of adults with pain and interviews with four practitioners and four patients with pain were analyzed using constant comparative analysis. The basic problem was perception of running out of treatment options. Trialing was the process used to resolve the problem and consisted of four phases: finding the right practitioner, initiating the trial, adjusting treatments, and continuing to monitor with the patient taking control over the pain. Failure to achieve control over pain occurred when providers were unclear or failed to listen or when patients disagreed about treatment. Improving patient-provider communication may enhance trialing. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.