Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Explaining the Unexplainable: How to Discuss Chronic Pain with Your Patients and Their Families

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

Explaining the Unexplainable: How to Discuss Chronic Pain with Your Patients and Their Families

Article excerpt

Chronic pain is unfortunately common in adolescents. It poses diagnostic challenges and can be difficult to treat. Patients and families often become very frustrated when test results are negative yet they feel that something is very wrong in their bodies. They often feel that they have been told that the pain is "in their head" leading to a heightened quest for diagnostic testing and a resistance to a multidisciplinary treatment. The complex pathophysiology and the inability provide answers to patients in a form that is concrete enough for them to easily grasp can be frustrating for both practitioner and family. As with most areas of medicine, the ability to communicate with the patient and their family is crucial to engaging them in therapy and therefore helping improve their outcome. We will briefly discuss the basic pathophysiology of three classic pain conditions: Fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome and functional abdominal pain. Understanding the pathophysiology will make it easier to come up with analogies that will help explain the pain to patients and families. …

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