Pain is the number one symptom of pancreatitis. Children living with pancreatitis often have to miss out on school, daily activities, and social bonding opportunities due to pancreatitis-induced pain episodes. Experts agree that pain management strategies can help pediatric patients and families live more high-quality lives.
This toolkit provides expert recommendations on pain management for pediatric pancreatitis patients. This pain management handout is divided into three sections to help you and your child live a high quality life:
- Monitoring and tracking pain
- Multiple approaches to managing pain
- Establishing a care management team and a plan
Children who suffer from pediatric chronic pancreatitis need a unique approach for pain management. Untreated pancreatitis pain can lead to issues such as anxiety and depression, and even cause changes in the brain.
Here are three steps to get you started as you support your child manage pancreatitis pain:
- Monitor and track your child’s pain by having an honest conversation with your child about his/her pain. Ask how your child is feeling, look for physical changes like body posture and observe their behavior.
- Consider multiple approaches to manage your child’s chronic pancreatitis pain. A combination of non-pharmacological methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, and physical therapy, and pain medication, such as NSAIDS and opioids, could be used to create a layered approach to managing pain.
- Proactively manage your child’s pediatric pancreatitis pain by establishing a care team that works to create a plan tailored specifically for your child. Ask your child’s primary gastroenterologist to complete this pediatric pancreatitis patient passport that can be used to share information with clinicians who are not familiar with your child’s medical history. This can be an important resource when you are traveling or have to go to an emergency department.
For more information on chronic pancreatitis pain management download our free handout.