Pain 101

What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is commonly characterized as pain that persists past what is typical for tissue healing time. This often means pain persisting for more than three months although this is not a requirement.

What are common types of chronic pain?
Some of the most common types of chronic pain in children and adolescents include  headaches, abdominal pain, and muscle and back pain. Some children may experience a combination of these conditions which can result in a more complex form of pain.

How common is chronic pain in children and adolescents?
Although rates vary from study to study, it is generally accepted that somewhere around 25% of children and adolescents experience some form of chronic pain, only a subset of which (approximately 5%) experience extremely intense and debilitating pain. However, this means that approximately 7 or 8 students in a class of 30 will experience some form of chronic pain.

Where can I find more information?
There are a variety of electronic and print resources available to help you learn more about chronic pain and its underlying mechanisms. Please see the Resources section for more detailed information.