Children's Hospital Colorado

Pain Management in Children (S2:E24)

Pain management, and specifically chronic pain management, has essentially evolved into its own specialty within pediatrics.

Primary care pediatricians (PCPs) need to develop practical approaches to pain management for kids, which requires an understanding of the conditions that are most often associated with both acute and chronic pain. Developing a practical, safe and patient-centric approach that works for kids isn’t easy or straightforward, especially when providers take the opioid epidemic into consideration.

Listen to our pediatric anesthesiology expert discuss pain management in children

The practice of pediatric pain management has developed significantly in the last decade with the use and validation of pain assessment tools for pediatric patients. This evolution has resulted in evidence-based pain management guidelines for children of all ages.

Still, pharmacological intervention options coupled with safe prescribing practices can be overwhelming in the primary care setting. In today's episode we are joined by Tom Majcher, DO, to discuss a practical approach to outpatient pain management in pediatrics and the prevalence of conditions associated with acute and chronic pain.

Dr. Majcher is Chair of the Anesthesiology Department at Children's Hospital Colorado and a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In today's episode, we explore:

  • The specific difficulties and challenges PCPs face when managing pain in kids
  • The definitions of acute pain versus chronic pain and how they are assessed in pediatric practice
  • How and why providers transitioned from using acetaminophen to treat most cases of pain in children
  • How modern pain management and prescribing practices have contributed to the opioid crisis in the United States
  • The benefits of using a balanced, multimodal pain therapy approach
  • Safe ways to manage acute pain in kids
  • The importance of encouraging parents to return unused prescription medications
  • Practical tools and approaches pediatricians can use when assessing pain in a child
  • The importance of observing and considering behavior during a pain assessment
  • The most common types of chronic pain problems that children present with in the PCP's office
  • An effective chronic pain program that Dr. Majcher uses in his own practice
  • How the landscape of chronic pain management has changed, plus new trends we're noticing in pediatrics
  • When PCPs should refer a young patient to a pediatric chronic pain clinic

Acute and chronic pediatric pain management at Children's Colorado

At Children's Colorado, our compassionate pediatric experts specialize in making every child as comfortable as possible. Whether the pain is acute or chronic, our pain management treatments use a proven multidisciplinary approach to improve every child's functioning and quality of life. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.