Parent Supported Pain Management
During a child’s cancer journey, his perception and tolerance of pain will grow and change.
After repeated procedures, many children become less able to tolerate even a minimally invasive or mildly painful experience. This is often because they are anticipating the pain, however mild, before the procedure. Anticipation causes stress, worry and anxiety, amplifying the child’s reaction to even mild pain.
The body and brain communicate to determine if touch or bodily sensations are interpreted as pain. We are able to help children change their experience of pain by interfering with the way the brain interprets sensations.
This can be done in two ways: pharmacological (giving medication) and non-pharmacological (psychological) strategies. You, your child and your care team need to work together to find the best combination of methods for your child.
Recognizing pain can be difficult in children who experience multiple procedures, or who are non-verbal and unable to explain the pain in words.
Sometimes you cannot prevent pain, but you can address some of the factors that are often part of the pain, or that make the pain worse.
Mind-body strategies interrupt or distract the mind from pain sensations, helping children break the negative cycle of distress – tension – pain.
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