Pain Management

There is much more to pain than physical discomfort, especially for children and teens. When a child hurts, everything suffers — from relationships with friends and family, to learning and behavior at school. At Nemours, our pediatric pain management team uses a family-centered approach to develop a balanced outpatient and/or inpatient plan that’s focused on physical and emotional rehabilitation and whole-child wellness.

Our goal is to use the least amount of medicine possible to relieve your child’s pain, and to bring your child hope for brighter days ahead.

Learn More About Pain Management in Children

Nemours pediatric pain management services are provided by a multidisciplinary team that includes specialists in pediatric anesthesiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation (which includes physical and occupational therapy),and behavior health (psychology and psychiatry), as well as support from compassionate social workers, care coordinators, Child Life specialists, and more.

We work closely with your primary care physician/pediatrician and other specialists your child may see, ensuring everyone is always on the same page and your family gets the best possible care.

Restoring Comfort Inside and Out Through Pediatric Pain Management

Pain is defined as an unpleasant emotional and sensory experience. It can be aching or throbbing, sharp or dull, constant or intermittent (off and on). We understand that pain is physical and mental, and that everyone experiences pain differently. Our team takes the time to get to know your child so we can properly assess the pain and develop the most appropriate treatment.

Pain Symptoms and Conditions We Treat

Pediatric pain symptoms and conditions we treat include:
  • acute pain (pain that’s temporary or short-term from, say, surgery or an injury)
  • chronic pain (pain that lasts more than six months)
  • abdominal pain
  • arthritis/joint inflammation
  • back and leg pain
  • cancer pain
  • fibromyalgia (widespread muscle pain)
  • headaches
  • neck, shoulder and arm pain
  • nerve injuries
  • neuropathic pain (complex regional pain syndrome – also called CRPS or RSD)
  • pain related to mental health disorders (anxiety and depression)
  • pain related to sports injuries

Minimal Medication Therapies for Pediatric Pain Management

Our whole-child approach to pain management in children includes a variety of therapies to help free your child from pain, inside and out. Your child’s personalized pain management plan may include:

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (teaches relaxation techniques and coping skills)
  • physical therapy (improves strength and mobility)
  • occupational therapy (improves daily functioning)

Your child may be referred or prescribed additional therapies such as:

  • hydrotherapy (uses water for exercise and comfort, also called aquatic therapy)
  • acupuncture (stimulates natural healing)
  • biofeedback (trains the mind to control pain)
  • integrative medicine (includes yoga, massage and meditation)

Managing Pediatric Pain With Pain Medications

At Nemours, we’re committed to providing the safest, most effective therapy for your child with the least amount of medication. A balanced pediatric pain management treatment plan may include medicines like:

  • patient-controlled analgesics, or PCA (delivers medication through a pump when activated by the patient)
  • epidurals (pain medication delivered through a small tube in the spine)
  • regional pain blocks (injections that offer pain relief for specific areas of the body)
  • pain medications (anti-inflammatory medications or opioids that reduce the amount of pain messages sent to the brain)
  • other medications (antidepressants or anticonvulsants)