How do we treat chronic abdominal pain?
Each child and family seen in the Chronic Pain Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado is given an individualized plan to treat their chronic abdominal pain. The management of chronic abdominal pain in children takes into account the contribution of psychological factors, social factors and biological processes.
For all patients, the treatment begins with the acknowledgement that the pain is real, that ongoing, extensive medical evaluations are not warranted, and that the child should focus on a return to normal routine (e.g., school, continuing activities and resuming a normal diet).
The goal of managing chronic abdominal pain is to provide a satisfactory quality of life through education, medical interventions and better coping skills and support. Some children may benefit from medications, if chronic abdominal pain is significantly limiting the daily routine and quality of life. These medications include anti-spasmodic medicines, muscle relaxants and neuropathic agents. A child may also benefit from low doses of medicines called tricyclic antidepressants (used at much higher doses to treat depression), which can be excellent pain relievers for some children.
Some psychological treatments that help children cope with functional abdominal pain and other stressors include behavioral therapy, relaxation exercises and hypnosis.
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s chronic abdominal pain?
The Chronic Pain Clinic at Children’s Colorado offers evidence-based care for children with chronic abdominal pain by using a multidisciplinary approach. Our clinic offers the ability to combine education, medical interventions, psychological therapies and support, physical therapy, and other integrative approaches such as acupuncture.