Helping Kids Deal with Chronic Pain
July 13, 2015
When a child hurts it is upsetting to everyone. It is natural for the first response to be alarm and fear. New pain in a child needs to be investigated with tests and examinations. There are times a clear reason for the pain is found. Other times, the reason for the pain is not well understood. In both cases, a child that is hurting is important and deserving of care.
One of the hardest elements of pediatric pain is to know how to support the child. Regardless of the cause of the pain, it is important to preserve the child’s life and function as best as we are able. A child’s life functions include play, school, activity, sleep and being social. Through these functions, a child grows, develops, learns and feels connected. When there is pain, these are easily disrupted and often difficult to reassemble. Child life is fragile!
As a chronic pain doctor, I have a balanced interest in reducing pain and also helping a child and family preserve or recover child life functions. Though it can be challenging, reclaiming these dimensions of their life often results in the child and family feeling emotionally and physically better!