Boston Medical Center Opens Pediatric Pain Clinic

The center aims to help patients better manage their pain.

Boston Medical Center (BMC) announced Wednesday that it has opened an “interdisciplinary Pediatric Pain Clinic” with the goal of helping their young patients and their parents “better manage acute, complex, and recurrent pain and its lasting effects.”

The new clinic treats patients with diseases that cause chronic pain, such as Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), and is open on Wednesday afternoons. The Pediatric Pain Clinic’s approach to care considers the “cycle of pain,” which includes all kinds of recurring pain caused by illness or injury.

“Our experience treating SCD patients will not only help improve access to acute and chronic pain care for these patients, but all painful syndromes that we see in BMC patients. One of our main goals is to enable kids who experience chronic pain to participate in typical, age-appropriate activities by providing better access to chronic pain care,” said Caitlin Neri, MD, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist, and medical director of the Pediatric Pain Clinic, in a statement. “Pain affects all areas of a child’s or adolescent’s life and can have a significant impact on the child’s relationships, schooling, and family life. If it’s not treated properly, the pain can even cause issues that appear later in adulthood.”

According to BMC reps, the new pain center is taking an interdisciplinary approach and will include: developing pain management plans with a child’s school; physical therapy and at-home exercise programs; coping and relaxation strategies; cognitive-behavioral therapy; acupuncture; aroma therapy; massage therapy; and yoga. A recent BMC study found that just one yoga class a week can replace medication for some kinds of back pain.

“There is often a role for medications in management of pain in children, but we know that medications alone do not completely relieve severe, complex, and chronic pain,” Neri said. “Used in concert with one another, treatments including medications, behavioral interventions, physical therapy, and integrative therapies may all be necessary to address this type of pain.”