Adolescent Pain Management - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Contact the RIC
Center for Pain Management

980 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 800
Chicago, IL 60611 (hours / map)


Fax: 312-238-7881

CPM Forms:

Returning Your Adolescent to School, Sports, Enjoyment

As a parent, if your adolescent is experiencing chronic pain, the change in his or her behavior is probably very apparent to you. Persistent pain can upset his or her ability to concentrate in school, participate in sports and socialize with friends. At the RIC Center for Pain Management, we know how pain can affect your child’s life and we can help.

Pain Can Be Very Complex For Adolescents

Pain serves as a warning to prevent further injury. It’s supposed to affect what a child does, not who a child is.  An adolescent may experience persistent pain in a very complex way that complicates how he or she interprets body signals and environmental factors. Our program will help you and your child better understand pain as a part of his or her life and how to successfully manage it. Our goal is to enable your adolescent to get back to doing the things he or she enjoys, such as school and sports. But more importantly, we want your child to recapture his or her enthusiasm and continue to develop while effectively managing pain.

A Comprehensive Look at your Child’s Pain

Many influences shape your adolescent’s
development; chronic pain shouldn’t be one of them.

The way a child feels pain can be affected by the way he or she moves, thinks and interacts with family and peers. Our one-of-a-kind adolescent program focuses on the physical, emotional and social components of pain – and empowers your child to cope with everyday situations through exercise, relaxation techniques and education.

As a part of your first consultation at RIC by a physician with expertise in adolescent pain management, you will complete a comprehensive evaluation that will help guide your child’s treatment program. We will work with you and your child to develop strategies that can be used in managing pain. Family counseling will also help your family understand your child’s treatment and goals. As part of this program, you will learn about many of the complicating factors that affect adolescent pain.

Interdisciplinary, Individualized Treatment

The adolescent pain management program takes place exclusively at the 980 N. Michigan Avenue (Center for Pain Management) location. Treatment at RIC is a collaborative, integrated effort. Your child’s care team will be led by a physiatrist – a doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation – and will include the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral psychologist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physical therapist

Based on your child’s unique situation, his or her care team will create a treatment plan focused on restoring function through exercise, relaxation and coping strategies. As treatment progresses, we will work with your child’s referring physician and school counselor to coordinate efforts and ensure learned skills can be translated into daily routines.

Our ongoing clinical research and focus on educating healthcare professional, patients and the community have positioned RIC as a leader in the field of pain management. Our care is supported by the most current evidence-based medicine and effective treatments available. We will help your child strengthen his or her muscles, understand how emotions and pain are connected, and learn skills to relax. In addition, we will educate your family about your child’s condition and how to promote pain relief at home. Treatment consists of one to four half-days of therapy per week, depending on your child’s needs. Most patients attend the program for four to eight weeks, based on goals and progress. Adolescents may be seen both individually and in group sessions, where they can benefit from peer support. 

Can Your Child Benefit from Treatment?

RIC doctor Gadi Revivo with adolescent pain patient

Our patient outcomes are effective pain management
and improved physical and social functioning.

Children and teenagers ages 8 to 18 who are affected by persistent pain are good candidates for this program. Several conditions we generally treat include:

  • Back pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Neuropathy
  • Recurrent abdominal pain