Pain 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 Your Doctor May 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 typically treat pain with an anti-inflammatory such as an 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.

It is caused by inflammation, which in many children is chronic and can be due to one or more of the following factors:

Children on the autism spectrum typically have a 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; it’s only putting a band-aid 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 Checklist to Start

  • Look for changes:
    • Poor appetite
    • Inability to sleep
    • Lethargic movements
    • Non-compliant disposition
    • Whininess
    • Crying
    • Anger
    • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Try to establish what might be causing the pain – which organ or area of the body.
  • Where applicable:
    • Apply compresses
    • Use herbs
    • Use homeopathics
    • Give probiotics
    • Use essential oils
    • Give anti-inflammatory supplements such as turmeric
  • Constipation is a common source of pain. Vitamin C in higher dosages, magnesium citrate and aloe juice 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.

See a well-trained acupuncturist:

Acupuncture can help relax the body and reduce symptoms of pain.

See a homeopath or naturopath:

Homeopaths and naturopaths can diagnose and treat pain naturally so that the child’s immune, sensory, neurological and nervous systems develop without being compromised.

See a chiropractor:

A chiropractor can perform spinal cord adjustments, which can improve communication in the nervous system and reduce symptoms.

See a craniosacral or osteopathic practitioner:

Craniosacral and osteopathic therapy can reestablish central nervous system functioning, which can reduce symptoms.

See a neurofeedback or biofeedback practitioner:

Although neurofeedback and biofeedback don’t address the root causes, they can both help with reduction of symptoms.

See a reiki practitioner:

Reiki is a hands-on form of healing that can reestablish energetic balance in the body, thereby reducing symptoms.

Ask your pediatrician to run some laboratory tests for:

  • Possible food sensitivities and allergies
    • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) IgG, IgA, IgE and IgM
  • Nutritional deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. The NutrEval by Genova Diagnostics Labs covers the following areas:
    • Malabsorption
    • Dysbiosis
    • Cellular energy
    • Mitochondrial metabolism
    • Neurotransmitter metabolism
    • Vitamin deficiencies
    • Toxin exposure
    • Detoxification need
  • Bacterial and yeast overgrowth
  • Gluten and casein sensitivities
  • Organic acids: The organic acid test by Great Plains Laboratory for yeast overgrowth and Candida, oxalates, and other microbial infections

Contact a qualified integrative or holistic practitioner to help you interpret these laboratory results.

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