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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 May;48(5):466-74. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep001. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

Chronic musculoskeletal pain in children: assessment and management.

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  • 1Bath Centre for Pain Services, Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, Bath, UK. jacqui.clinch@ubht.nhs.uk

Abstract

Paediatricians and paediatric rheumatologists review a large number of children with ongoing pain (disease and non-disease related). A small number of these develop chronic pain conditions that are complex and distressing. Over recent years studies of the epidemiology, aetiology and rehabilitation of pain and pain-associated disability in children have revealed a large prevalence of clinically relevant pain, and have emphasized the need for early recognition and intervention. Medication has a role when part of a multidisciplinary framework, although there is little evidence for or against the effectiveness of most pharmacotherapy. There is strong evidence to support early targeted psychological and physical intervention, and an understanding that parental education and involvement is essential if progress is to be maintained. In this review, an overview of the assessment is presented and management of childhood chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions with reference to main research findings to date.

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