As a chiropractor, we often are asked to manage and resolve many painful conditions children experience after the medical system fails them. Often, they first see the pediatrician who sends them to the orthopedic who sends them to physical therapists, and then they visit our offices and usually find a resolution to many of the painful conditions they suffer from.
While high end tests may lead to a diagnosis, way too often, they are done in place of a good musculoskeletal evaluation which can save parents time and money, while saving the child from undue suffering.
On of the most egregious misdiagnoses involve growing pains, which are often seen with children who are experiencing growth spurts. Often, these children have biomechanical problems making them tight that the pediatrician does not understand. Many tall boys who experience this end up with problems such as osgoods schlatters disease, which can often be relived with foot orthotics and muscle work that reduces the stress on the top of the tibia. Often, by the time they visit our offices the condition is advanced and the opportunity for significant relief has been compromised.
In a recent NY Times article, it illustrates the problem of children’s pain, and how the medical system, with its many players often fail to resolve the problem. Having all these specialists rather than one who can just diagnose and treat the problem successfully is both expensive and the reason many children do not get relief.
While this article looks at the problem differently than the way I prefaced it, the system clearly needs to look at pediatric pain quite differently, and it needs to embrace other groups such as chiropractors as the initial providers of care for many of the painful problems children experience. While there are other concerns such as growth plate injuries more common in sports and in falls, they are much more rare than the biomechanical ones chiropractors are best at treating. , Chiropractors knows how to diagnose these problems as well, when to refer, and are probably best used as the front line providers, rather than the ones at the fragmented line of providers, tests, and therapies which more often than not are of limited value, which increase costs while not necessarily improving the process of care.
Why Aren”™t We Managing Children”™s Pain?
By Rachel Rabkin Peachman
June 27, 2016 2:36 pm June 27, 2016
It began with a simple roller-skating accident three years ago. Taylor Aschenbrenner, then 8 years old, lost her balance amid a jumble of classmates, tumbled to the floor and felt someone else”™s skate roll over her left foot. The searing pain hit her immediately.
The diagnosis, however, would take much longer. An X-ray, M.R.I.s, a CT scan and blood tests over several months revealed no evidence of a break, sprain or other significant problem. Taylor”™s primary symptom was pain “” so severe that she could not put weight on the foot.
“œOur family doctor first told us to give it some time,” said Taylor”™s mother, Jodi Aschenbrenner, of Hudson, Wis.
But time didn”™t heal the pain. After about a month, an orthopedist recommended physical therapy. That didn”™t end the problem, either. “œI couldn”™t walk or play outside or do anything,” Taylor said.
After she had spent a year and a half on crutches, her orthopedist suggested she see Dr. Stefan Friedrichsdorf, the medical director of pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine at Children”™s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. He and his team promptly recognized Taylor”™s condition as complex regional pain syndrome, a misfiring within the peripheral and central nervous systems that causes pain signals to go into overdrive and stay turned on even after an initial injury or trauma has healed.