When your child suffers from pain that interferes with day-to-day activities, it can be tough. Persistent, chronic pain affects your child’s quality of life. We know it affects you, too.
Research shows about 30% of children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 18 experience pain that lasts three months or longer. It can prevent your child from attending school, playing sports and simply enjoying life.
Mary Free Bed’s multi-disciplinary team of pain rehabilitation specialists understands the complexities of chronic pain, including the physical and emotional toll it can take. We’ll work with you and your child to address the pain in innovative ways so he or she can enjoy life.
We know how to help kids be kids.
Unlike acute pain, which typically comes from an injury, illness or medical procedure, chronic pain is more complex and often has debilitating effects.
It’s persistent and recurrent. And it doesn’t always have a physical source. Sometimes it’s associated with a long-term illness or condition, or it continues after an injury has healed. Changes to the nervous system also may cause persistent pain. And sometimes the cause isn’t clear.
Common types of chronic pain include:
We treat children and adolescents up to 19 years of age who have varying degrees of chronic pain and other conditions. We can help your child manage:
We treat patients with a variety of medical diagnoses, pain locations and symptoms, such as:
Frequently associated problems include:
Our main goal is improving the physical and emotional wellbeing of your child. We want to help them attend and succeed in school and participate in sports or other physical recreational activities. We’ll work together to:
Our goal isn’t to take your child’s pain away. While we would love to, it’s not always possible. However, we can often help decrease your child’s pain — or at least his or her perception of the pain. And sometimes chronic pain conditions completely resolve on their own.
Our focus is on helping your child return to normal activities: attending school, hanging out with friends and taking part in sports and other activities that bring joy.
We’ll assess potential causes for your child’s pain and work with both of you to develop goals — and decide the best course of treatment to reach those goals.
If all physical possibilities for pain relief are ruled out, we’ll look at how your child perceives the pain and teach ways to manage it. (As functioning, coping skills and confidence improve, pain and distress often decrease or go away.)
We use a mind-and-body rehabilitation approach that includes physical conditioning, body mechanics training and pain management skills. Our approach is challenging but supportive:
We’ll modify our program to meet your child’s needs, but it will typically consist of:
Your child’s pain physician will perform an examination and interview you and your child to assess your child’s health history. The doctor will help you understand your child’s pain and other symptoms. You’ll work collaboratively with your child’s physician to reduce or eliminate medications proven to be ineffective.
Physical and emotional health are closely linked, and psychology plays a significant role in managing chronic pain. Our pain psychologists employ a personalized approach that may include:
Our physical therapists will help you understand the difference between acute and chronic pain. They know when to encourage your child to do more and when to recommend that you pace your child’s activity. You’ll learn stretching techniques, posture corrections and other ways to manage your child’s pain, so you can help them improve function by moving.
Your child will learn the proper posturing and body mechanics he or she will need for school, and how to protect joints, conserve energy and pace activities to manage pain. A structured movement program will help your child re-engage in interests and hobbies.
We closely monitor your child’s progress using a variety of outcome measures to assess the program’s success. Data shows patients who participate in our program report:
We understand the complexities of pain. Our clinicians have specialized training and extensive experience to put your child on the path to a full and productive life. We can help safely reduce or eliminate your child’s reliance on medication and re-engage in things that are meaningful.
Your child will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Douglas Henry and Dr. Victoria DuFour, pediatric physiatrists who specialize in the treatment of physical and cognitive issues. Drs. Henry and DuFour are experts on pediatric chronic pain disorders.
Douglas Henry, M.D.
Victoria Dufour, D.O.
Drs. Henry and DuFour direct each patient’s care and the coordinated efforts of our team, including:
Each week, our team meets to discuss your child’s progress and adjust his or her care plan. Your child’s wellness is our focus.