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If your child has a serious illness, then they may experience some level of pain. But there are ways to reduce or, in some cases, prevent pain.
Doctors and nurses regularly treat pain. But some cases require special attention. That is when the pain management team may become involved. A pain management team may include:
Pain has many causes. Your are team will work with you to determine:
Then the team will work with you on a plan to help manage your child's pain.
Pain can either be acute or chronic. Acute pain comes on quickly. It alerts the body that something happened that needs attention. In general, acute pain is tissue-related or nerve-related.
Tissue-related pain is also called nociceptive or visceral pain. Damage to tissues, organs, or bones can cause it. It usually feels like an ache, sharp stabbing, or throbbing. It may come and go or be constant.
Pain caused by nerve injury is neuropathic pain. Some chemotherapy drugs, in particular vincristine, can cause this type of pain. It may feel like shooting or burning pain or tingling. It can go away on its own. But it is often chronic.
Chronic pain is commonly defined as pain that lasts more than 12 weeks.
The causes of pain can be complicated. When the care team determines the causes of pain, they consider:
The care team will also consider the intensity of pain and how much it affects your child’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
Your child may be asked to rate their pain on a scale of 0-10. Your child will have a functional assessment to determine how much pain affects their daily life.
Treatment may include:
It is important for you to tell the medical team when your child is in pain. The ultimate goals of any pain management plan are comfort, function, and overall quality of life.
You can help your child cope with pain. But be sure to care for yourself, too. Seeing your child in pain can be stressful. Your care team can help you with coping skills.
Reviewed: October 2022