Pain Management

The Division of Pain Management provides care for children with acute pain and chronic pain. Pain is a complex and unique experience that affects all areas of a child or adolescent’s life. Whether the pain is caused by a chronic illness or has an unknown cause, it can impact relationships, school, mood, sleep, family life and everyday responsibilities.

Our Division brings together a multispecialty team of doctors, anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, psychologists and social workers to meet the special needs of each child facing pain issues or a chronic illness.

Services

  • Inpatient Pain Service
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • Education
  • Research

MAGIK Acute Pain Service (Inpatient)

Making Aches Go Away In Kids (MAGIK)

The goal of our inpatient service is to prevent avoidable pain and minimize or alleviate your child’s discomfort in a safe environment. If your child is coming to the hospital for an operation, ask your surgeon how the pain service can help manage postoperative pain.

The MAGIK acute pain service cares for hospitalized children with pain associated with:

  • Surgery
  • Trauma or injury
  • Acute exacerbation of chronic pain
  • Specific illness or disease
  • Headaches
  • Acute abdominal pain
  • Limited mobility
  • Complications of treatments

How We Alleviate Pain

We can provide pain control using a variety of techniques, which include:

  • Intravenous opioids using Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pumps
  • Regional Therapies
    • Epidurals
    • Spinals
    • Peripheral Nerve Blocks
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Massage
  • Topical therapies to minimize pain with needle sticks

The Acute Pain Service team includes:

  • Physicians
  • Intensivists
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Social Worker
  • Psychologists
  • Anesthesiologists 

Psychological and Psychiatric Support

We offer psychological and psychiatric support for children and their families to help cope with the stressors of living with acute pain and guide them with techniques to help improve daily functioning.

Chronic Pain Care (Outpatient)

The Pediatric Pain Management Team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provides care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults (up to 21 years of age) who have acute or chronic pain.  In a clinic setting, the team uses a thorough evaluation to develop andindividualized approach to treat our patients, including managing the physical, social and emotional aspects of pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

Pain is complex. It is an individual experience that touches all areas of a child’s life, including their families. When pain lasts a long time—weeks, months or even years—it can have an impact on relationships, school, mood, sleep, family life and daily functioning. For these reasons, it is important to address pain as early as possible.

Why Choose Us?

Pain issues are best treated by a multidisciplinary care team that is made up of different experts who are trained to evaluate and treat pain. The Pediatric Pain Management Team helps patients with pain by creating a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include medications, procedures, rehabilitative and complementary medicine practices, such as acupuncture, meditation, and massage.

Our team includes:

  • Doctors who specialize in Pain  (Anesthesiologists, Psychiatrists, Pediatricians)
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Counselors (Psychologists, Psychotherapists)
  • Acupuncturists
  • Massage therapists
  • Nutritionists

Commonly treated conditions:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (formally known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Neuropathic pain

The team also treats patients after surgical procedures or with other medical conditions, such as cancer, rheumatologic disease, sickle cell disease, and intractable headaches.

Services Provided

Each patient will be seen by a doctor and a counselor for full evaluation. Then, an individualized treatment plan is made for the patient and parents. This plan may include referrals to other subspecialists when appropriate.

The treatment plan will address:

  • Pain signs and symptoms
  • Emotional and social aspects of pain
  • Daily life  (sleep, school, peers, family and more)

The first evaluation is 60 to 90 minutes.

Follow-up evaluations are 20 to 30 minutes.

Recommended treatments could include:

  • Biofeedback therapy
  • Meditation and breathing exercises
  • Stress management
  • Cognitive behavioral interventions
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychotherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Medication management
  • Epidural steroid injections,  peripheral nerve blocks, trigger point injections
  • Botox treatment
  • Implantable drug pumps and neurostimulators

Referrals for certain treatments and ongoing therapy might be provided to resources in your community.

Our Division provides extensive educational and administrative assistance to the hospital. We are actively involved in the education of residents, fellows, nurses, psychologists, social workers and spiritual care providers.

We also provide input or oversight on the development, implementation and ongoing assessment of all pain educational programs at the hospital, in order to minimize any discomfort and distress patients and families may experience.

Research and quality improvement are critical components of the Division of Pain Management’s treatments. Throughout the year, the Division conducts multiple research studies focusing on the effectiveness of treatments and procedures—studies that often lead to changes that improve short- and long-term outcomes.

Current research interests include:

  • Pediatric Chronic and Acute Pain Management
  • Pediatric Regional Anesthesia, including Neuraxial & Peripheral Nerve Blocks
  • Pediatric Anesthesiology and Neuroanesthesia
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Other Causes of Neuropathic Pain
  • Back, Extremity, Joint, and Abdominal Pain
  • Chronic Migraines and Headaches
  • Perioperative and Postoperative Pain
  • Difficult Airway Management
  • Solid Organ Transplant Surgery
  • Fetal Surgery
  • Blood Transfusions
  • Virtual Reality for Pediatric Pain Distraction
  • Animal Assisted Therapy