When your child is in pain, you may feel helpless and anxious. Fortunately, specialized professional help is available at the Pain Program at Riley at IU Health. We are home to Indiana’s only comprehensive pediatric pain program where multiple specialists and professionals work together to provide interdisciplinary care. Our doctors and staff are as committed to your child’s comfort and well-being as you are, and we know the challenges children and families face when pain interferes with life, learning and happiness.
Two fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists serve the Pain Program at Riley at IU Health as well as a physical therapist, a pediatric psychologist and two registered nurses. All have committed their careers to serving the needs of children like yours. These professionals work as a team in close communication with your child’s doctors or other healthcare providers to develop a complete, integrated treatment plan for his or her specific pain management needs. As your child’s treatment progresses, the team will closely monitor improvement, emotional health and function to make sure the treatment plan is working and to make any adjustments if needed.
Depending on your child’s needs, the treatment plan may include:
- Medicine to help control pain or to treat depression or anxiety
- Nerve blocks and epidurals to provide immediate, temporary relief
- Exercises designed to help manage pain and improve function
- Biofeedback using special equipment to help your child become aware of the body’s responses and learn to manage them
- Cognitive behavioral therapy to help change negative thought and behavior patterns
- Acupuncture, increasingly used to relieve many kinds of pain in children
Focus on the Whole Child
The Pain Program at Riley at IU Health focuses on rehabilitation and restoring function as well as pain relief. Patients and parents or guardians take an active role in the treatment plan and rehabilitation process, both at the Pain Program at Riley at IU Health and at home. Targeted exercises, biofeedback and relaxation can be worked into your child’s daily schedule. We will work with you and your child to answer any questions and make sure you feel confident carrying out the treatment plan.
Children who are hurting may also be dealing with depression, anger, frustration and anxiety, and their families often suffer as well. Our pediatric psychologist works with the rest of the team to help patients and families cope. We can help children find healthy ways to express what they are feeling and provide medicine or other treatments if necessary. We can also help with parenting strategies (learning what is too much or too little to expect from your child and creating a regular schedule for pain management and other activities).
Your child might miss some school as a result of his or her painful condition or while he or she is being treated. We can provide notes to the school, and if needed, help you set up a plan such as an individualized education program (IEP) plan or a 504 plan.
Conditions & Services
Our pediatric specialists provide patient- and family-centered care for most related conditions. The links below provide more specific information about some, but not all, of the conditions that we treat.
We offer a number of different Pain Program services. Below are some, but not all, of the services that we provide. If you have a question about a specific service that is not listed here, please contact our program.
Program Forms & Resources
Program Forms & Resources
The Pain Program at Riley at IU Health provides the following forms for parents, healthcare providers and personnel. We have also curated relevant resources from other websites and provided links with brief descriptions of the information that is available.
Find out about back pain by age group, how to treat it at home and when to call the doctor.
For Health Professionals
The Pain Program at Riley at IU Health is the only comprehensive, interdisciplinary pediatric pain program in Indiana. Our anesthesiologists, physical therapist, pediatric psychologist and registered nurses work together in communication with the child’s doctor and other providers to ensure each child receives safe, effective pain management, rehabilitation and psychotherapy if needed.
Refer A Patient
Riley at IU Health works with referring physicians in Indiana and beyond.Refer A Patient
In partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine, Riley at IU Health is home to several highly regarded educational training programs for medical students, residents and fellows. A pediatric anesthesiology fellowship is available through the Department of Anesthesiology.