by Lesli Hill, Volunteer Coordinator, PAINS Advisory Committee

Drs. Lonnie and Paul Zeltzer gave a compelling lecture about pediatric pain on September 27th in Kansas City as part of the PAINS Project Chronic Pain Awareness Month activities. It provided a thoughtful introduction to their book, Pain in Children and Young Adults: The Journey Back to Normal.

The book is an operating manual for parents who have children with pain conditions, complete with local pain resources across the country, letter templates for school personnel, and pain journal tips.

Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer discussed the importance of learning how to react to a child who is experiencing pain. She explained that how a parent responds to acute pain can sometimes contribute to the development of chronic pain conditions over a lifetime. She gave concrete examples of how parents can help their child work through the physical and emotional impacts of their condition in a way that brings their child to an awareness of the mind-body aspects of pain so that the child can feel normal even when experiencing pain.

They discussed the concept of the WholeChild LA organization where the intake interview of the child and parents lasts for several hours, where they listen and respond to the needs and concerns expressed by them. It is through this process that they identify the biopsychosocial components impacting the child and family and recommend a treatment plan that fits the uniqueness of the child’s pain experience.

Their combined years of research and practice provided a depth of knowledge and understanding that every doctor who treats children with pain should seek out.