The Chronic Pain Management Clinic at the Montreal Children’s Hospital offers an interdisciplinary program to help guide children and adolescents with chronic pain, along with their families, toward effective management of their chronic pain condition.
Five specialists make up the core group of the Pain Management team, including a pediatric anesthesiologist, psychologist, physiotherapist, social worker, and nurse. All five professionals have extensive experience in helping patients and families with chronic pain conditions.
The team regularly collaborates with consultants from other specialties such as Surgery, Psychiatry, Gastroenterology, Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Urology Neurology, and Radiology. Additionally, we partner with the Shriners Hospital for Children to perform sensory evaluations (quantitative sensory testing and conditioned pain modulation) that provide the team with personalized sensory information for each patient. We know each case is unique and our goal is to develop, with our patients and families, tailored treatment programs to help our patients thrive.
This type of treatment focuses on returning a patient to normal functioning through a personalized reconditioning program that balances the patient’s goals around activity/sport with optimal pain management. Patients with chronic pain conditions may also benefit from specialized strategies including electrotherapy, desensitization exercises, and graded motor imagery (which may include the use of mirror therapy).
This type of treatment focuses on the development of coping and relaxation skills for the management of pain and sleep in an open and collaborative manner. Psychological interventions rely on a vast array of strategies (both cognitive and behavioural) that are adjusted to the individual needs of the person. Since emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, discouragement, and depression can contribute to and are frequently a consequence of pain, these can also be addressed as part of the intervention.
Medical interventions (N.B. these are not appropriate in all cases and will be considered only after the patient is seen by the team):
These types of treatments can involve medications or diagnostic and therapeutic regional blocks (medicating a specific part of the body) to manage pain in order to facilitate engagement with other dimensions of the rehabilitation program.
The nurse facilitates coordination between team members and patients, supporting families and ensures close phone or videoconference evaluations of patient and family responses to medical treatments offered.
Social Work interventions:
The social worker provides support to families, referring to and liaising with CLSC services as needed. Additionally, a central part of the social worker’s role is to facilitate effective communication with schools in order to enhance school attendance for children with chronic pain.