Few sounds are more upsetting to hear than a child crying in pain. Knowing that a child is suffering can make parents and caregivers feel helpless. Recent studies show that if pain isn't treated - or isn't treated enough - it can affect a child for years to come.
Seattle Children's has been a leader in treating pain in babies, children and teens since our program began in 1985. We use a range of
methods. These include medicines and sometimes procedures. For example, we can use a tube to send numbing medicine to the nerve that carries signals from a painful site to the brain (peripheral nerve continuous infusion). We also teach children strategies they can use to change their pain experience by turning it down or turning it off. Complementary and integrative methods, such as acupuncture, may be used, too.
Our team is made up of specialists in caring for children's pain - anesthesiologists, nurses, psychologists and physical and occupational therapists. Because many conditions may cause pain, we work with experts from nearly all of Children's programs. We also partner with you, your child and your child's whole healthcare team to design a treatment plan that meets your child's and family's needs. The approaches we recommend for your child are based on evidence about what works.
Conditions We Treat
We care for babies, children and teens who have a wide range of conditions, including:
- Pain after surgery, such as
; reconstructive procedures; and
solid organ transplants
- Pain from
or cancer treatment, including
bone marrow transplant
- Recurrent pain
from conditions such as
sickle cell disease
- Pain in the bones, joints or muscles from conditions such as arthritis and lupus
- Back pain
- Fibromyalgia and other
central sensitization syndromes
Complex regional pain syndrome
, including migraines and chronic daily headaches
- Abdominal pain
or recurrent pain
- Pain from changes in the nervous system, including from an injury or surgery, stiff and rigid muscles (spasticity), and
- Pain in children who are getting
palliative care or end-of-life care
- Physical dependence in children who have been receiving certain pain medicines for a long time and need to safely and slowly stop taking them
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