Recognizing and Managing Pain in Your Teen

How do I recognize pain in my teen?

Teens may display different behaviors when they are in pain or uncomfortable. Your teen may:

  • Become quiet
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Not eat or drink as much as usual
  • Lose interest in family and friends
  • Become less active, lie quietly, or curl up in bed
  • Become irritable and angry
  • Complain of pain

How do I help my teenager manage pain?

Comfort your teenager

Some suggestions include:

  • Dimming the lights
  • Offering to stay with your teen
  • Reducing noise
  • Talking to him in calm, comforting way

Use touch to provide comfort

You can:

  • Offer to massage your teenager’s back
  • Offer hugs or to hold your teenager’s hand

Help your teenager focus on something other than pain

Encourage your teenager to:

  • Listen to music
  • Surf the web or participate in social media
  • Take slow, deep breaths
  • Read a book
  • Play a video or computer game
  • Talk about a favorite experience or memory
  • Play a game or watch TV
  • Do art projects, draw or color

If you have any questions, please ask your doctor, nurse, or child life specialist.

Contact us

For more information about the Pain Management Program at CHOP or to schedule an appointment, please call 215-590-1409.

Reviewed by: the Pain Managment Program team
Date: August 2012

Review Date: August 2012