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)
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Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando

13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
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For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

Plan Your Visit
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
  • any forms required for school, camp, sports, etc.
  • a list of prior immunizations

Please also print and fill out the following form(s) and bring them with you to your appointment:

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  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
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    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families

Nemours Children’s Hospital (NCH) offers an integrated pediatric pain management program dedicated to treating acute (temporary) and chronic (ongoing) pain in children and teens. The program — led by one of the world’s top pain specialists who is board certified in pediatric anesthesiology and pain management — is one of only a handful in the United States that also provides healing for the entire family.

Whole-Child Care for Pediatric Pain Management

At NCH, we focus on overall wellness with therapies that meet your child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs in both an outpatient clinic and inpatient hospital setting. Our inpatient day stay program (a hospital stay that may last several hours over several days, but not overnight) provides more intensive care for children who don’t respond to traditional outpatient treatment. And because your child’s pain can’t wait, we’re committed to seeing you as quickly as possible.

Customized Treatment Plan for Your Child and Family

Pain in children can impact the family dynamic — that’s why we involve the entire family in the healing process. Once we get a complete assessment of your child’s condition, our team works to help you understand the treatment options, ways to manage the condition, and how to help your child cope with pain at home and at school.

Our Approach to Pain Management

At Nemours, we don’t rely on medication alone to manage your child’s pain. In addition to minimal medication therapies, we want to give your child or teen more control over pain to help reduce the stress and anxiety it causes. Your child’s customized treatment plan may include a combination of therapies such as those listed below.

Physical Rehabilitation

Our rehabilitation specialists provide occupational and physical therapy to increase mobility and build strength to help relieve pain. Therapists will teach you and your child exercises and stretches to use at home and school.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Pediatric behavioral health experts will help your family cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of pain. Our compassionate providers will teach healthy ways to think about and react to pain by working with your child individually, with your family and/or in a group setting with other children and teens.


Some pain can be relieved by training the body to control internal processes that occur naturally, like blood pressure, muscle tension, skin temperature and heart rate. Learning mental exercises and relaxation techniques can give your child or teen control over pain, which can reduce anxiety and emotional stress.

Complementary Medicine

Acupuncture, natural supplements, yoga, massage and meditation are proven to promote pain relief, relaxation and distraction. That’s why these complementary medicine therapies may also be prescribed as part of your child’s pain management treatment plan.

Pain Medications

Used only as a last resort, and in the lowest possible dosage necessary, we may prescribe pain medication. Children are not little adults and our pediatric specialists understand the effects certain medicines have on our youngest patients. We take special care to ensure patient safety.

Some of the medications we use include:
  • Patient-controlled analgesics (PCA): A computerized pump that distributes a set amount of pain medication when activated by the patient or parent.
  • Epidurals: Pain medication that’s delivered through a small, soft plastic tube placed in the lower back (typically used to manage pain after surgery).
  • Regional pain blocks: Nerve blocks that relieve pain in a specific area either temporarily or longer-term.
  • Pain medicines: Prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, or opioids that can help reduce the amount of pain messages that are sent to the brain.
  • Other medications: Antidepressants and anticonvulsants that are proven to reduce certain kinds of pain.

We also deliver short-term injections like Botox to manage muscle spasms, as well as medicines delivered through an IV (like magnesium) in our onsite infusion center.

Pediatric Pain Management Experience You Can Trust

It’s often difficult for kids to describe what they’re feeling, that’s why it’s important to have experienced pediatric specialists engaged in your child’s care. Our team will take the time to get to know your child and find out exactly where it hurts — and how much — so we can help make it better, faster.

Pediatric Pain Symptoms and Conditions We Treat
Some of the pain symptoms and conditions we treat in children and teens 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 (like anxiety or depression)
  • pain related to sports injuries

Learn more about these and other children’s health topics from »

What to Expect at Your First Visit

Your child’s first appointment may include evaluations with a variety of specialists and may take several hours. Depending on your child’s needs, you can expect to:

  • First meet with our anesthesiologist, who will take a complete medical history, perform a medical examination and spend time getting to know you and your child.
  • Meet with a behavioral health expert who will evaluate your child’s emotional status and your family’s concerns.
  • Visit with a rehabilitation specialist, who will evaluate your child’s symptoms and need for occupational and/or physical therapy.
  • See other medical specialists, if necessary (like a neurologist, rheumatologist or gastroenterologist).
  • Spend time with a social worker, who can help coordinate your child’s care and find information, community services and resources for your child and family.
  • Meet a Child Life specialist, who can provide play and creative therapies and distraction.
  • Get necessary diagnostic tests and lab work while you’re here.

Hospital Designed by Families, for Families

At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.

If Your Child Needs to Stay Overnight in Our Hospital

You’ll feel right at home in one of our private patient rooms, designed with input from families who know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital.

Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems and two flat-screen TVs.

Other in-room features include:
  • full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
  • refrigerator for family meals and snacks
  • wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
  • GetWellNetwork interactive television that’s uniquely based on your child’s age, medical condition and more, and allows your child to watch TV, surf the web, check e-mail, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team

Our “hospital within a garden” setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.

We have many more comforts and amenities, like:
  • complimentary valet and parking
  • kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
  • café coffee shop
  • non-denominational chapel
  • concierge services

Learn More About Nemours Children’s Hospital »

Advanced Pediatric Medical Imaging Services Available Onsite

If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

Our unique services include:
  • interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. We are very fortunate to have the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the state.
  • neuroradiological or cardiovascular imaging and fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists see children with complex conditions who require this highly specialized imaging.
  • Central Florida’s only 256-slice Brilliance iCT Scanner: We are one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have this latest generation CAT (or CT) scanner that scans faster than most machines and produces excellent images in a much shorter time, with much less radiation exposure for the child.

Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns.

We’ve also pledged our commitment to the “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Learn More About Medical Imaging at Nemours Children's Hospital »