Advice for Managing Pain

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Ipswich Hospital
Children’s Physiotherapy Department
Tel: 01473 702 185

 

Pain is not only upsetting for your child, but can also lead to other problems, such as an altered walking pattern, which can cause the pain to get worse or affect another part of their body.

It is important to reduce your child’s pain to make them comfortable but also so we can start treating them as soon as we see them. All too commonly children arrive for a physiotherapy assessment and we are unable to fully assess them or start treatment because they are too sore.

The following general advice should be followed before your child’s assessment. If you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact us directly on the telephone number at the top of this leaflet.

Sport

Wearing supportive trainers for sport, instead of plimsolls or having bare feet, may reduce your child’s symptoms. However, if sport is making your child’s pain or symptoms worse, it should be avoided or reduced to a level they can cope with. Pain after sport is a sign that your child’s body is not
happy with this activity.

Pain relief without medication

Pain can be reduced by applying ice or heat to the affected area for 10 minutes. This can be repeated as often as required. Ice can also be useful in reducing swelling.

Ice can burn, especially on bony areas or where circulation is poor, so it must never be applied directly to the skin. Always wrap the ice pack (or packet of frozen peas) in a damp tea towel to protect the skin.

When using heat to relieve pain, the pack should be warm but not hot – a warm hot-water bottle is ideal.

Pain relief medication

Always seek advice about pain relief medication from your pharmacist or GP. In general, if your child is in pain, a pain reliever is advisable.

Ibuprofen (Nurofen) is an anti-inflammatory medication which not only reduces pain but also reduces inflammation.

Paracetamol (Calpol) is purely a pain-relieving medication and is useful for short episodes of pain or if your child can’t take ibuprofen.

 

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