Treatment of chronic pain in children and adolescents

Chronic pain in children is a not well recognized entity that is difficult to treat and leaves many families frustrated. Many times, not having an identifiable etiology along with the complex biopsychosocial nature of this condition leads to a lengthy diagnostic odyssey and delayed treatment that exacerbates the existing problem. Effective treatment of chronic pain requires a team approach in order to deal with the various aspects of this condition. Combinations of medication along with nonpharmacologic treatments, such as physical therapy, psychological interventions and complementary therapies, are frequently the most effective ways of treating chronic pain rather than medication alone. Further research is necessary to understand the complex biobehavioral processes involved in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Development of targeted novel therapies as well as comparative studies of existing treatments will assist in improving treatment for chronic pain in children.