PainPain is a discomfort or suffering of varying degrees that is communicated to the brain by sensory neurons. Injury, illness, a psychological condition, infection, hunger, dental, constipation, may be some of the causes of pain. However, for your child pain may be difficult to express verbally and may be exhibited behaviorally. Know that behaviors – even self-injurious ones – may mean pain.

What will your doctor tell you about pain?

Doctors like to measure levels of pain which is not easy or accurate with children. They will make an assessment and treat pain with an anti inflammatory such as a NSAID (Motrin, Tylenol etc.), an antibiotic or some form of medication. Your doctor might assume that once the pain goes away so does the problem.

Another way to think about pain:

Pain may be a warning sign of something much more serious. Children on the autism spectrum have high tolerance to pain, so don’t ignore signs. Nonverbal children may become self-injurious as an expression of pain. When behaviors are more abnormal than usual this may indicate pain. Treating pain with a pain-reliever is only treating symptoms–only putting a bandaid on the problem. Getting to the root cause of the pain will reveal needed information to treat the problem. Diagnostic testing is a way of understanding the root cause(s) of the pain in order to then determine the right course of treatment.

Pain check list to start:

  • Look for changes – poor appetite, inability to sleep, lethargic movements, non-compliant disposition, whiny, crying, anger, self-injurious behaviors
  • Try to establish what might be causing the pain – what organ or area of the body.
  • Apply compresses, use herbs, homeopathics, probiotics, essential oils, and supplements where applicable.
  • Constipation is a common source of pain. Vit.C in higher dosages,magnesium and aloe all help with constipation.
  • Acid reflux is another source of great pain and children may not want to eat because the esophagus is inflamed and it is too painful to eat. Reflux can often be caused by food sensitivities.  If you suspect your child might have acid reflux, a food sensitivity test is a great place to start.

If you have addressed these issues and are still dealing with pain:

  • Contact a chiropractor, acupuncturist, naturopath, oriental medicine doctor, craniosacral therapist, or homeopath
  • Test OAT (Organic Acid Test) by Great Plains Laboratory for yeast overgrowth and Candida, oxalates, and other microbial infections
  • NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs covers the following areas: malabsorption & dysbiosis; cellular energy & mitochondrial metabolism; neurotransmitter metabolism; vitamin deficiencies; and toxin exposure & detoxification need.  Contact a qualified integrative or holistic practitioner to help you interpret these laboratory results.