Pain Management for
Pain management doctors who specialize in pediatrics and
special needs have a supreme knowledge of the intricacies of cerebral palsy.
With this condition comes a different reaction to pain, a different
understanding of pain, and pain doctors must be able to communicate to parents
and children the aspects of treatment.
Children with CP understand pain differently than children
with normal brain function and physical movement. Many times, this condition brings with is an
extremely sensitive pain threshold. Pain is experienced in a different way and
on different levels, so a pediatric pain doctor must use specific pain
assessment to determine exactly where the child’s pain is coming from.
Children with CP often have prolonged experience of pain
that can keep them in and out of the pain doctor’s office throughout their
lives. Nerves and tendons become easily injured to do the ‘spastic’ and ‘rigid’
nature of muscles, as well as spasms and seizures that can add extreme pressure
to different areas of the body. Joints become easily inflamed and patterns of
wear and tear appear quite frequently in areas that are repeatedly spasming.
When muscles are tight for great lengths of time, or when
the brain cannot control those muscles, spasticity occurs. Spasticity is an
imbalance of signals from the central nervous system to the muscles, according
to WebMD, and the most common symptom of cerebral palsy. Because the muscles
are hard at work at all times of the day and night, there is a great deal of
pain associated with spasticity.
Another form of pain that is quite common to those living
with CP is chronic back pain. Because of the many spinal deformities
(scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis) associated with cerebral palsy, upper and lower
back pain is seen in many patients. These spinal deformities can make sitting,
standing and walking incredibly uncomfortable and even painful.
CP Pain Managmenet
Pain doctors most commonly refer to physical therapists, behavioral
therapists, prescription medications, and a neurologist when treating patients
with cerebral palsy. By using a multidisciplinary team of medical experts, a
pain doctor can treat all aspects of the child’s condition.
A physician, such as a
pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, or pediatric physiatrist, who is trained
to help developmentally disabled children. This doctor, who often acts as the
leader of the treatment team, integrates the professional advice of all team
members into a comprehensive treatment plan, makes sure the plan is implemented
properly, and follows the child’s progress over a number of years. – The National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke
For more information on cerebral palsy and pain management,
contact us today.