|Helping Children Who Have Chronic Pain|
The Pain Management Clinic treats both acute and chronic pain. Chronic pain is prolonged or occurring repeatedly for months, while acute pain begins suddenly and lasts less time than chronic. A team including nurses, physicians and other pediatric specialists review all aspects of your child's complex pain issues. They work together to develop diagnosis and treatment plans to increase your child's comfort and function in everyday life.
During a visit, your child will be evaluated by:
- a pain psychologist
- a physical therapist with special training in pain disorders
- nurse practitioners with specialized pain management training
- a physician trained in pediatrics, pain medicine and anesthesia
Each team member offers unique treatment approaches that can help in managing your child's pain.
During clinic visits, families will learn pain management skills, lifestyle modifications and functional goals for the patient.
Restoring the patient's everyday function is emphasized through physical and mind-based therapies. For the health and well-being of patients, the clinic offers integrative medicine -- treatments such as meditation and relaxation techniques.
Other services that may be offered depending on your child's needs include:
- Physical therapy
- Ongoing pain psychology evaluation
- Behavior modification
- Stress management
- Sleep improvement
- Reintegration to normal activities
- Return-to-school plans
- Medications for pain control
- Cognitive behavioral therapies such as biofeedback, relaxation, meditation and imagery
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy, which uses low-voltage electrical current for pain relief
- Nerve blocks, injections of medication near nerves to provide relief and comfort
- Aromatherapy, in which the oils of a plant are used to treat pain
- Comprehensive chronic pain education
- COMMIT program for children behind in educational development
Diagnoses managed by pain clinic staff include:
- Complex regional pain syndrome
- Widespread musculoskeletal pain
- Back pain
- Persistent post-surgical pain
- Pain associated with orthopedic and sports injuries
- Nerve-related pain and injuries
- Abdominal pain – functional and recurrent
- Pain associated with hypermobile joints, including Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
- Chronic headache, unresponsive to typical medications
- Pain associated with chronic illness such as arthritis, lupus or neurologic disease
- Children with physical dependence on pain medications needing to be weaned
- Home exercise education
- Medical adherence education
Signs that your child is suffering from chronic pain
- Pain persists for three months or longer
- Missing school weekly or a few times a month
- Leaving school early regularly
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Not participating in normal school activities or sports
- The referring physician remains the primary clinician in the patient’s management. This keeps the home physician–patient relationship the center of care.
- The clinic will review consult requests made by phone or fax and help decide whether a clinic visit for the patient would be helpful.