Complementary therapies for acute pediatric pain management

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2000 Jun;47(3):589-99. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(05)70227-3.


A wide variety of tools to adequately treat pediatric pain is beneficial. The methods discussed herein typically involve the use of many areas of expertise to manage pain. Massage therapists, biofeedback technicians, physician-acupuncturists, child-life specialists, psychologists, and physical or occupational therapists can all be used as allies to battle acute pain in children. The incorporation of alternative forms of pain management, including education, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, guided imagery, biofeedback, and even acupuncture, to the standard methods may improve the management of children with acute pain. The management of children with pain does not have to be with an "either/or" approach using traditional pharmacologic methods or the cognitive and alternative therapies discussed here. Many areas need research to provide evidence that these therapies work well. What is known now suggests that the use of these adjunctive methods of pain management may complement pharmacologic pain management, thereby bringing physicians closer to optimal care of children with acute pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy
  • Acute Disease
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Infant
  • Pain Management*
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Suggestion
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation