Pain in children with cerebral palsy: implications for pediatric physical therapy

Pediatr Phys Ther. 2010 Spring;22(1):86-92. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3181cd18a7.


Purpose: This literature review explores pain assessment tools and psychosocial pain management methods that are pertinent to physical therapy (PT) for children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Summary of key points: Children with CP experience considerable pain that affects quality of life and cooperation during healthcare procedures. Physical therapist-led research on interventions to address pain in this population is limited, despite evidence for the prevalence of pain during PT interventions, and the preponderance of research supporting the use of psychosocial pain management during other healthcare-related pain-inducing procedures.

Statement of conclusions and recommendations for physical therapy practice: Research completed primarily by non-physical therapist healthcare professionals delineate assessment tools and psychosocial pain management techniques that hold promise for evaluating and reducing pain that occurs during PT procedures for children with CP.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Child
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Humans
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain Management
  • Pain Measurement
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Environment