Chronic pain affects one in four people and this figure is likely to increase further in line with an ageing population. Efforts to evaluate nonpharmacological interventions to support this patient population have become a priority for pain research. For device trials, the use of a sham control can add to the scientific validity and quality of a study. However, only a small proportion of pain trials include a sham control, and many are of poor quality. To facilitate the conduct of high-quality trials there is a need for a comprehensive overview to guide researchers within this area. The objective of this review was to synthesise the published data to address this need.