Childhood pain often occurs in the form of headaches, abdominal pain, limb pain and nerve pain.
Children may sleep or play even when they have significant pain, or they may become moody and difficult to manage. Untreated pain in children can have profound and long-lasting effects on social and physical development.
Chronic pain generally has a better prognosis if treated early in life. Children tend to respond well to multidisciplinary pain management combined with self-management, modified according to their age. If a family believes a child is living with pain, it is important to seek an assessment by a suitably qualified health professional. Should pain persist, the doctor can provide a referral to a paediatric pain specialist and/or paediatric pain clinic. For families in a regional area, this may require travel to a major city, however, there may be telehealth options available.
Help & Resources
Pain clinics & programs
- National Pain Services Directory: Current list of paediatric pain clinics in Australia
- Paediatric pain programs: Current list of paediatric pain programs in Australia
- PainBytes: an interactive website that helps children deal with chronic pain
- MYCAREPATH: Pain resource from the BC Children's Hospital
- Children and headache: Headache in children and adolescents information sheet
- www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/fact-sheets/pain-the-facts (The Children's Hospital at Westmead)
- Tips for parents of teens with pain (Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia)
- Tips for parenting a child with chronic pain (Psychology Today article)
- www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/coping-managing/young-people/ (The Migraine Trust)
- The role of catastrophising in paediatric migraine (Neurology Advisor article)
- Pain after surgery in children and infants (IASP)
- Pain Concern