Pain Management: Why Children's

The Pediatric Pain Management Center is a new service at Children's Medical Center. The Center assesses and treats children with ongoing chronic muscle, bone and nerve pain. Common conditions to be treated include recurrent abdominal pain, headaches, and arm or leg pain. Patients with chest pain, back pain and pain from nerve injury, rheumatologic conditions and cancer can also be seen. Children most fitting for the Center are those children who are having a hard time coping with their pain and may feel their lives are out of control due to the effects of chronic pain.

Chronic pain is a large problem in children. Up to 20% of children have chronic pain. Children and their families have major emotional and social costs as a result of pain and disability. Pain in children has often been overlooked because young children can not tell us how much pain they are having. Adults may dismiss an older child's complaints as excuse-making or attention-getting. Treating children with chronic pain is very difficult and needs a group of people from different specialties to assist with the treatment plan.

The benefits of this program to patients, families and referring physician are clear: better management of chronic pain in a population that has often been difficult to manage. Currently in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, this is the only program that focuses on pediatric chronic pain management.

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