Pain serves as a warning to prevent further injury. It’s supposed to affect what a child does, not who a child is. An adolescent may experience persistent pain in a very complex way that complicates how he or she interprets body signals and environmental factors. Our program will help you and your child better understand pain as a part of his or her life and how to successfully manage it. Our goal is to enable your adolescent to get back to doing the things he or she enjoys, such as school and sports. But more importantly, we want your child to recapture his or her enthusiasm and continue to develop while effectively managing pain.
Interdisciplinary, Individualized Treatment
Treatment at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is a collaborative, integrated effort. Your child’s care team will be led by a physiatrist – a doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation – and will include the following:
- Cognitive behavioral psychologist
- Occupational therapist
- Physical therapist
Based on your child’s unique situation, his or her care team will create a treatment plan focused on restoring function through exercise, relaxation and coping strategies. As treatment progresses, we will work with your child’s referring physician and school counselor to coordinate efforts and ensure learned skills can be translated into daily routines. Our care is supported by the most current evidence-based medicine and effective treatments available. We will help your child strengthen his or her muscles, understand how emotions and pain are connected, and learn skills to relax.
Adolescent POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) Program
The POTS program involves problems with the autonomic nervous system. Diagnosis focuses on the presence of abnormally high heart rate upon standing, but there may be other symptoms, including blood pressure changes, fatigue, headaches and/or pain. A number of underlying conditions are known to be associated with POTS, including autoimmune diseases, Chiari malformation, and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
In the program, you will attend one to four half-days per week for up to eight weeks as determined by your progress in our program. Treatment will focus on exercise and biofeedback relaxation, but can also includes increasing fluid intake, increasing salt consumption, and medications. With appropriate changes in lifestyle, many patients can see a decrease in their symptoms and an increase in their quality of life.
Through a unique mix of physical & occupational therapy, relaxation techniques, and family-centered education we create an integrated plan that will help you successfully return to school and life.