UC Irvine Pain Medicine Center

Pain in Children and Adolescents

Pediatric pain treatment involves specialized care to a young population of patients who suffer from a variety of acute and chronic pain syndromes. Unlike in adults, pain is often difficult to assess effectively and aggressive treatment is not well tolerated. Moreover, chronic pain in children seems to have more of a social impact on the overall health of children than we see in the adult population, missing school, avoidance of friends, detaching themselves from activities they previously enjoyed and deterioration in their school work. What results, is not only a physical symptom of pain, but also significant anxiety, depression, and avoidance of friends and family, which can make the treatment of pain even more difficult. Many of these children have already seen subspecialists, such as orthopedists, neurologists, and rheumatologists who may have diagnosed and treated what they thought was causing the pain, yet the pain still persists.

At the UC Irvine Center for Pain Management, we offer both in-patient and out-patient diagnosis and treatment of pain in children. We have a very unique group of practitioners with highly specialized training in pediatric pain within our team to provide a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to managing and treating pain in children. This includes a great network of physicians, psychologists, physiatrists and a strong provider referral base to work effectively to treat pain as a disease, and not just symptom management. We specialize in treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), chronic headache, back pain, and persistent pain from orthopedic or spine syndromes.

The central focus of treatment is the restoration of function, utilizing a systemic, coordinated and progressive set of therapeutic strategies on a very individualized basis tailored to each child. The key, we believe, in evaluating these children is to take enough time to listen to their story. Also, including an explanation of the basic science research that is being conducted to explain how pain is transmitted in our bodies, experienced, and why it persists. Our hope and goal is to help children regain functionality, empower children to take control of their bodies, and return to the activities they previously enjoyed.