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Chronic Pain in Children

Why Would a Child Have Chronic Pain?

Many people have the misconception that chronic pain only affects adults, however it has the ability to affect everyone, including children. Over the years, chronic pain is an increasing issue becoming more common in children and young adults. These issues can come from physical genetic conditions, injuries, or even daily bad habits, like improper posture or sitting positions. Children with chronic pain experience it just as severely as adults with chronic pain. 

Types of Chronic Pain in Children

6.4 percent of children in America are affected by chronic pain. Abdominal pain is one of the most leading causes of chronic pain in children as 23 percent of children attribute their chronic pain to their abdomen. Another leading cause of chronic pain is sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, which causes nerve pain in the limbs. This affects roughly 9.2 percent  of children. Similarly to adults, children also experience back pain, headaches, and migraines which are all other forms of chronic pain. A point to keep in mind is that in all cases chronic pain is only considered chronic if it lasts longer than three months. 

The Reason for Chronic Pain in Children

A recent study analyzed 3,752 children across the United States that were admitted to 43 hospitals. The young adults in the study were mostly white females at the average age of 14 years old. On average the children within the study were in the hospital for 7.3 days. While hospitalized, their pain received an additional 10 diagnoses on average including constipation, nausea, and mood disorder. 

Understanding why so many children are diagnosed with chronic pain is difficult. Many physicians have attributed it to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. In 2.1 percent of child chronic pain patients physical, emotional, and sexual abuse was also responsible for the development of chronic pain.

For many doctors it is difficult to figure out what specifically is causing the chronic pain. Because of this they are often unable to offer the correct treatment. The fact that physicians diagnose so many children with additional illnesses along with chronic pain shows that there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. The best way to determine the source of chronic pain in children is to consider it an ailment of its own and not a symptom.

It can be difficult to determine how to approach chronic pain treatment in children, which is why it’s best to get professional advice. The pain experts at Pain Specialty Group can help you find the source of chronic pain and provide suggested treatment options. Contact Pain Specialty Group here to set an appointment with a New Hampshire pain expert today.

Author
Aidan Fisher, Maureen Cassidy Pain Specialty Group

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