Pediatric pain medicine is the medical specialty that provides relief for acute and chronic pain in children. Pediatric pain medicine specialists assess, diagnose, and treat children experiencing painful conditions. They are experts in managing children's pain, even for young children who are unable to verbalize their feelings. Pediatric pain medicine specialists work in children's hospitals, pediatric wards, and in outpatient settings such as pain management clinics. Pediatric pain medicine specialists are physicians with training in the areas of pain medicine and pediatrics. Patients may be seen by a pediatric pain medicine specialist in the following circumstances:
Pediatric pain medicine treatments depend on patients' physical maturity and severity of pain. Some children are prescribed narcotic analgesics (opioid) medications, such as morphine and oxycodone. Other patients are instructed to take non-opioid analgesics (mild pain relievers) such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Pediatric pain specialists determine safe medication dosages and intensity and if necessary, patients may undergo weaning management from certain pain medications.
Emerging therapies such as frequency-specific microcurrent (FSM), may decrease children's pain by inhibiting nerve and muscle pain receivers. Frequency-specific microcurrent treatment functions by sending mild electrical currents to parts of the body experiencing pain.
Pediatric pain medicine specialists may work alongside pediatric surgeons, oncologists, massage therapists, physical therapists, child-life specialists, and pediatric psychologists.