Intensive Physical and Psychosocial Therapy Reduces Pediatric Pain in Study

Intensive Physical and Psychosocial Therapy Reduces Pediatric Pain in Study
Intensive physical and occupational therapy (PT/OT) and psychotherapy may adequately treat children with fibromyalgia without the need for added medications, according to a new study in The Journal of Pediatrics. The report titled "The Treatment of Juvenile Fibromyalgia with an Intensive Physical and Psychosocial Program," found that the therapy regimen used in the study significantly reduced feelings of pain and increased the amount of physical activity treated children could tolerate. In children, approximately 2%-6% of the population are affected by pain categorized as fibromyalgia. Unfortunately, there exist no adequate ways to treat childhood fibromyalgia, and most treatments are based on cognitive behavioral therapy and aerobic training. When these treatments were tested in a long-term study, pain and sleep disturbance can continue in more than 90% of tested children. A group of researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia led by David D. Sherry, MD, and Pamela F. Weiss, MD, MSCE, have created an intensive PT/OT program coupled with psychological counseling that is successful in the short- and long-term when treating children with complex regional pain syndromes. Most recently, they conducted a study with 64 children with fibromyalgia in a tertiary care hospital. "The objective of this study was to evaluate long-term functional and psychosocial outcomes of the patients completing our intensive program," wrote Dr. Sherry, lead author of "
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