Treatment Therapy Options :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Treatment Therapy Options

The Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic team is comprised of physicians, psychologists, advance practice nurses, physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturists all working together. We provide both medical treatment and complementary therapies to achieve optimal results.

These therapies include medications and medical therapies, psychology, biofeedback, relaxation therapy, imagery, physical therapy, aromatherapy, massage and acupuncture. Treatment plans are individualized to each child and family. The team works closely together with you and your child’s other physicians to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Explore some of our treatment therapy options below.

Medicine and Medical Therapies

The role of medicine and medical therapies in chronic pain management is one of symptom control. Medications are like Band-Aids; they reduce symptoms and protect your injuries, allowing your body to do the work of healing. Even though they are not the cure for most conditions, they make recovery much easier. Over the past decade, medication and therapy options for pain control have greatly expanded.

The Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic provides a variety of different therapies, from oral medication to procedural techniques. The Pain Services Clinic tailors each medication plan to the conditions and needs of each child and the family.


The Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic Pediatric Psychologist provides a range of assessment and treatment services to each child or teen and their family. Assessment occurs at the time of the initial appointment and at regular times to examine psychological issues related to coping and adjustment to chronic, acute and recurrent pain.
Individual sessions focus on teaching specific pain management strategies, such as muscle relaxation or visual imagery, distraction and meditation. In addition, stress management training is provided to manage changes in daily functioning as a result of pain, including scholastic performance and peer relations.
Individual and family counseling may also be provided as needed to address personal and family factors either contributing to or resulting from pain and/or medical procedures. Finally, the psychologist provides education to you, your child or teen and health care providers about the developmental and psychological factors related to pediatric pain in general.
Education also will be given to your child’s or teen‘s pain experience and expression, and treatment strategies options.


Biofeedback is a way to focus on controlling the body. Biofeedback uses sensors to monitor changes in how the body reacts to stress and/or pain, including heart rate, muscle tension, breathing rate, temperature, sweating and blood pressure. Biofeedback helps us immediately see the benefits of relaxation on the body. 
Relaxation can reduce the negative reactions of stress on the body by decreasing or regulating muscle tension, heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. 

Physical Therapy 

Research has shown that exercise is an important part of managing chronic pain, yet fear of pain often keeps people from wanting to begin an exercise program. A Physical Therapist can help an individual learn to interpret pain signals and manage and decrease symptoms through exercise. 
The Physical Therapist’s role is one of assessment and treatment. The Physical Therapist performs an assessment on the patient’s initial intake and at interval times throughout the patient’s course of rehab. Following the initial intake, a plan of care for future visits will be established. 
Treatment interventions will be activity based and will focus on restoring normal function and movement patterns. Treatment interventions utilized may include range of motion/flexibility, strengthening, core stabilization, functional progression, low-impact aerobic exercise and development of a home exercise program.
Consistent performance of a home exercise program will be an essential piece of your child’s rehab program in the Comprehensive Pain Management Clinic. Proper pacing will also play a key role in your child’s rehab process. 
A Physical Therapist will constantly monitor your child’s progress and made modifications as necessary. Follow up visits will typically occur one time every other week.


The general theory of acupuncture is that proper physiological function and health depend on the circulation of nutrients, substances and energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) through a network of “channels” or “meridians.” This network connects every organ and part of the body, providing balance, regulation and coordination of physiological processes. 
Pain and ill-health result when the flow of Qi through the body is disrupted or blocked by many things, including disease, pathogens, trauma/injuries and medication (side-effects), as well as lifestyle factors such as overwork, poor diet, emotions, lack of rest and stress.
Acupuncture involves the stimulation of specific body locations (acupuncture points) to improve the flow of Qi. Insertion of single-use, disposable, sterile needles, heat or finger-pressure achieves this stimulation. Acupuncture therapy has been shown to be beneficial for treating pain and nausea, as well as a host of other conditions.
For many children, teens and young adults, acupuncture can be a potent pain reliever and assist in helping their body regain a more natural balance.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy is a form of therapy that uses the gentle application of systematic touch, focusing on specific areas of the body, or the whole body, for the purpose of promoting healing and relaxation. Massage therapy reduces stress, relieves tension and pain and increases the circulation throughout the body. Patients may benefit from feelings of safety, comfort, well-being, enhanced self-esteem, and reduced anxiety and depression.
Massage services are delivered by licensed massage therapists, who provide children with many different types of touch therapy, including:
  • Swedish Massage uses touch, including gentle stroking, friction, kneading, compression and passive joint movements within the normal range of motion.
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage employs gentle movement of congested fluids in the body to relieve pain, tension and fatigue, and to reduce edema and swelling.
  • Craniosacral Therapy utilizes gentle touch to the head, neck, back and other joints in the body to calm the nervous system, thereby, reducing and improving overall physical health.
  • Myofascial Therapy uses specific techniques to release tight muscles or “knots”, which have accumulated in the muscle. The pressure may vary from light to moderate or even deep, to relieve pain and numbness and to increase blood flow to the area.
  • Healing Touch is an energy-based therapy that involves very light touch on the clothed body, or around the body, to relieve pain, fatigue and tension.


Reiki is a healing practice that uses light touch to help the body's natural healing to occur through the flow of energy (or Qi). This technique may be used to maintain and/or to restore physical and emotional wellness, such as relaxation, sleep and energy. 

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Phone: (614) 722-4205
Fax: (614) 355-2878

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000