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Complex Pain Clinic

What is the Pediatric Complex Pain Clinic?

The Pediatric Complex Pain Clinic (or CPC) is a clinic that provides care for youth/children and their families who are experiencing complex or chronic pain. This type of pain is complex and can affect many parts of the child/youth/family life.

Because of this, this clinic provides a comprehensive approach which can involve many different health care professionals. The focus is on goal setting, self-management and functional improvement.

The clinic focuses its treatment on three components of functioning:

  • Biological/physical functioning (e.g. improving movement, gaining strength/flexibility with exercises and medications or other interventions that may assist this)
  • Psychological functioning (e.g. sleep improvement, stress, anxiety and depression management that relates to pain)
  • Social functioning (e.g. strategies for attending school, participating in extra-curricular activities, seeing friends and family education/support)

The team works with the child/youth and family to support and treat complex pain within the "biopsychosocial" model of care.

What specialists care for children with complex pain?

The team includes:

  • Physicians (anesthesiologists)
  • Physiotherapists
  • Registered Nurse
  • Psychologists
  • Family Therapist
  • Clerical support

What happens on and after the first visit?

Once the child/youth/family has been seen by the team, the family, child/youth, and team will work together to create a treatment and follow-up care plan.

The referring doctor/family doctor/nurse practitioner will still care for the child's medical needs.

What kinds of complex pain problems can be referred?

  • Pain that is affecting child's everyday life.
  • Tests and treatments trying to find the cause or manage the pain have been done.
  • Basic pain management has been tried and failed.
  • Note: children/youth with headaches need to be referred to Alberta Children's Hospital Neurology and youth with abdominal (tummy) pain need to be referred to Alberta Children's Hospital Gastroenterology  (GI)

How do I refer a child to the Complex Pain Clinic?

A physician or primary care provider needs to make the referral.