Chronic pain can adversely affect children’s mental and physical health. So, here are effective ways to manage chronic pain in children.
Chronic pain is persistent pain that can last weeks or even years. It can be caused due to a previously sustained injury or operation; however, it can sometimes suddenly occur without any reason. Unfortunately, this condition does not have a specific medication or treatment plan to get it cured, but it can be managed to reduce the pain and suffering the person goes through daily. It can be very painful for kids and affect their childhood, schooling, and other aspects of their life.
Exercising is a great way to slowly improve and strengthen weak joints and muscles, increasing mobility, flexibility, and endurance.
Depending on the area of the pain, the exercise will vary, but the basics will involve low-impact aerobic exercises since they will put less stress on your joints. Strengthening exercises such as using your body weight where your core is engaged is also advised.
The goal of relaxation is to make the brain feel calm and hence decrease the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. A few ways to relax include breathing exercises. All these techniques will help cope with the pain and calm the brain from receiving the pain signals. Stretching and warm-up exercises are excellent options to start.
It is said that we create our own experiences, and everything is a perception of the brain. We can bring awareness to this by changing the way we think.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is another way to manage chronic pain in children. This method is a form of talk therapy, and it lets people identify their problems, negative thoughts, and behaviors and equips them to develop skills to change them. Addressing the thoughts and behaviors that fuel the pain is a great way to reduce it.
Medication can be tricky when it comes to children since you have to get the right dosage and whatnot. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are the most common medicines to relieve chronic pain in children. Children under 12 can take these medicines for pain, and children aged 16 can even take aspirin for relief. But, doctors’ advice and prescription are required for purchasing such medications.
Group therapy is a great way for parents of children with chronic pain to come together and support each other. Pain management in Fort Worth Texas allows them to exchange their experiences, tips, and ways they have dealt with chronic pain in their child and what helps them manage it. Parents can feel validated, empowered, and encouraged that they are not alone in this battle, they are others who are going through the same thing, and it can enable them to connect. It will also allow the child to open up and meet other children with the same condition. They can bond over this and support each other during their tough times.
Recreational activities are a way for you to distract yourself from the pain. Taking a walk, doing yoga, swimming, listening to songs, solving a puzzle, and playing a game are all activities you can do to lessen the pain you feel when it hits you. These activities are also a great way to stimulate and keep the brain active. Doing something you like and enjoy will trick your brain into thinking you are happy and not in pain.
Meditation and visualization techniques are great ways to help distract from the pain. Letting the child close their eyes and imagine their favorite place, food, beloved pets, and smells will help shift the pain away from the child’s attention, and instead, they will focus on something that makes them happy.
Another way is to sing songs, watch their favorite cartoons/TV shows with them, read a book, recite a story, or listen to music. All these activities distract from the pain and will help the child cope with the pain they are feeling.
Acupuncture is helpful for people with chronic pain. For various children and teens, it has been proven to reduce pain. Other methods are the cupping method which does not use needles as acupuncture does.
Chronic pain in children can be a nightmare, and even more so for the parent to see their child suffering like that constantly. With these few tips, you will be able to manage the pain. With no definite cure and treatment for such a condition, such techniques will help improve the quality of life for your child and will surely help them cope and reduce the pain in the long run. As the child grows up, they will need to learn ways to manage the pain and stress so it does not affect other parts of their lives and they can live normally.
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