Treating Chronic Pain in Children

Because every child is different, the U-M Pediatric Comprehensive Pain Management Center team individualizes treatment plans for each child we see, incorporating conventional medicine with a variety of complementary approaches. 

The most common treatment recommendations that we make include:

  • Integrated physical therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral techniques including relaxation, guided imagery and coping skills training (group and individual)
  • Medication management
  • Therapeutic Recreation
  • Art therapy
  • School specialist for IEP/504 Plans and school re-entry

Other available, but less commonly used treatments may include:

  • Interventional techniques such as nerve blocks or injections
  • Occupational therapy
  • Acupuncture and Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Biofeedback
  • Mental health medication management
  • Family counseling and parenting therapy (group and individual)
  • Hypnosis and other mindfulness strategies

Therapy generally includes both individual and group sessions, but a specific course of action with clear recommendations will be made after the initial evaluation is completed.

We also work closely with our colleagues in pediatric anesthesia as needed for integrated care related to delivery of analgesia or nerve blocks.  For the most part, however, our patients are those for whom medical management has not been effective or is not a long term solution.  Our focus is less centered on medical management and more directed towards helping children learn to thrive and prosper through their pain.

If needed, we consult with our U-M colleagues in nutrition, occupational therapy, mental health services and other medical specialties.

To learn more or make an appointment with the Pediatric Comprehensive Pain Management Center, call 734-936-4220.