Phosphorylation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is widely regarded as a vital modification of synaptic function. Various protein kinases are responsible for direct phosphorylation of NMDAR, such as cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase A, protein kinase C, Ca/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, Src family protein tyrosine kinases, cyclin-dependent kinase 5, and casein kinase II. The detailed function of these kinases on distinct subunits of NMDAR has been reported previously and contributes to phosphorylation at sites predominately within the C-terminal of NMDAR. Phosphorylation underlies both structural and functional changes observed in chronic pain, and studies have demonstrated that inhibitors of kinases are significantly effective in alleviating pain behavior in different chronic pain models. In addition, the exploration of drugs that aim to disrupt the interaction between kinases and NMDAR is promising in clinical research. Based on research regarding the modulation of NMDAR in chronic pain models, this review provides an overview of the phosphorylation of NMDAR-related mechanisms underlying chronic pain to elucidate molecular and pharmacologic references for chronic pain management.