Living in constant pain is difficult for anybody—but for children and adolescents, it can be almost unbearable as their life experiences change as a result of the pain. As a parent or caregiver, you may feel helpless and frustrated as you watch your child’s life change. You child may drop out of sports and other outdoor activities, avoid personal and family responsibilities, miss school and stop spending time with friends, experience increased stress and/or develop symptoms of depression and anxiety, give up their dreams and goals, and feel increased hopelessness. Chronic childhood pain can stem from various medical conditions or diseases, including complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), chronic headaches (either migraine or tension-type), fibromyalgia, dermatomyositis, Crohn’s disease and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, among other sources of pain in the body, such as those involving the back, chest and abdomen. Chronic pain can also result from trauma, such as an automobile accident from a while ago. Some cases of chronic pain are idiopathic (with no known cause) or may be the result of psychogenesis (the mind creates the painful situation). Regardless of the cause, the pain is real. But your child is not alone..nor are you. Various treatments and techniques can be applied to get your child back to doing the things he or she loves to do—despite the pain.
The Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation is specifically designed for children and teens whose chronic pain interferes with their normal activities. Our number one goal is to get your child back to living his or her life as best as possible.
Join us on Wednesday, August 28th as Gerard A. Banez, PhD discusses treatment options to help ease the pain of children and adolescents with chronic pain.
Dr. Banez is a pediatric psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, where he serves as Program Director for the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program and leads the Behavioral Pediatrics Treatment Service. His clinical/research interests include pain-associated disability syndrome, pediatric functional gastrointestinal disorders, elimination disorders and vocal cord dysfunction.
The Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation team at Cleveland Clinic Children’s addresses each child's individual needs. Children are examined by the appropriate pediatric specialist(s) to better understand their pain condition. Children are admitted into the program when there is agreement that an intensive, coordinated team approach is needed. Over the course of the program, our staff will communicate with you on a regular basis regarding the status of your child.
The two-part program consists of inpatient and day hospital components. The program's length is tailored to each child's needs, but children are typically seen for three weeks—two weeks as inpatients, and one week as day hospital patients. As inpatients, children and adolescents are often initially seen and treated apart from their parents. This allows them to concentrate on their care, and gives our team the chance to observe and treat them independently. Parents will have meetings with various team members and can visit with their children in the evenings.