Rising Occurrence Of Chronic Pain Noted In Children And Teens

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Children and teenagers are highly active physically. In their growth and maturity process, they may face some changes in all aspects of their lives. Who would have through that pain can also be something they would encounter? Chronic pain that is persistent and recurring causes a lot of detriments to children. This can lead to their absences in school or even social activity withdrawal. Moreover, they can possibly develop personalized symptoms, such as anxiety. It was revealed by a group of researchers that more children presently experience chronic pain; moreover chronic pain was said to be more common in girls than boys. These were the findings from the first comprehensive review of chronic pain in children and adolescents in two decades.

Sara King, PhD, assistant professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the study’s leader, elaborated that prevalence rates of chronic pain augment with age.  Among researchers and clinicians, this necessitates awareness of the problem and its long-term effects to children. Moreover, researchers from Dalhousie University and IWK Health Center in Halifax made a methodical assessment of the epidemiological studies of pain and categorized a set of criteria to evaluate the quality of the studies found in the review. Thirty-two studies were examined; then, they classified those into the types of pain involved (like headache, back pain, abdominal pain, combined pain, musculoskeletal pain and general pain). These steps were done to evaluate the improvement made from the time the first comprehensive review of pain in children and adolescents was published in 1991 by Goodman and McGrath.

The factors related to this gender variation between girls’ and boys’ pain prevalence rates are not yet vivid. Furthermore, pain prevalence is deemed to have consequences on the psychosocial variables like low socio-economic status, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety. In addition, with an approximate rate of 23%, headache was the most usually studied type of pain. The average prevalence rates in children and teens range from 11 % to 38%. What’s more, Dr. King said that the trend of prevalence rates of childhood pain escalating in the last decades is truly alarming.

The researchers suggested that new epidemiological studies about childhood pain should be performed employing lucid operational definitions of pain and superior measures of pain frequency, duration and intensity. Dr. King concluded that it is possible to name the most prominent risk factors through making a shift of focus to factors linked to chronic and recurrent pain. This can pave the way to early and effective interventions to the most vulnerable population.




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