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Chronic Pediatric Pain 

Chronic Pediatric Pain
Chronic Pediatric Pain

Mark Connelly

and Joy A. Weydert

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date: 18 October 2021

Pain that recurs or persists over many months is surprisingly common among both healthy and chronically ill children, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) methods frequently are sought by this population of children. Although symptom reduction typically is the primary reason parents seek complementary therapies for their children, pain that persists can adversely affect many areas of a child’s life and thus the functional impact of pain commonly is a key treatment target for integrative pain medicine. In particular, chronic pain affects physical functioning, mood, sleep, interpersonal relationships, social activities, and the ability to work or attend school. An integrative pain evaluation therefore needs to include the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual factors in context with the child’s developmental level in order to determine a comprehensive treatment plan. Mind-body therapies, particularly relaxation-based strategies and cognitive-behavioral therapy, have been shown to be particularly helpful for many chronic pain conditions in childhood such as pediatric headache, abdominal pain, and chronic arthritis. Other treatments such as certain dietary supplements, massage, and acupuncture, while typically having less extensive of an evidence base in pediatric chronic pain, typically are safe and may be beneficial.

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