About the Center for Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome

The Center for Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia specializes in the care and treatment of children and adolescents with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome (AMPS). Our center is extremely successful in treating AMPS – and our patients see life-changing results.

Our Mission

We provide a comprehensive, holistic interdisciplinary team approach to the individualized treatment and care of children with AMPS. We uphold this mission by empowering children and their families, by instilling confidence in them, and by providing hope to restore patients’ overall healthy life function.

Our Core Values

Our Center was created on the core values of respect and responsibility to self and others. Successful treatment for AMPS is a collaboration between the patient, family and our AMPS team.

Together, we strive to help children affected by AMPS to discover life balance, flexibility, humor, and mindful communication with the goals of fostering independence, helping children “own” their recovery and express their creativity. We support the physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being of our patients and their families.

Our Team

Our interdisciplinary team of clinicians has vast experience and knowledge in the evaluation and treatment of amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome in children and teens. Our core team includes attending rheumatologists, advanced practice providers, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, art and music therapists, researchers and a clinic coordinator. Together, we help empower children and their families by instilling confidence and providing the necessary tools to restore each patient’s overall health.

Treatment of AMPS at CHOP

Treatment for children diagnosed with AMPS focuses on a return to function and wellness – often before the pain goes away completely. We use aerobic exercise to increase cardiovascular tone, desensitization therapies to dull pain sensors, and individualized outpatient therapy to learn coping strategies and stress management.

We often use making a fire as an analogy for pain receptors. To start a fire, you might rub two sticks together vigorously and consistently to build up enough heat to start a fire. In the same way, exercise in the AMPS program must be consistent and vigorous to “burn out” the abnormal nerve pathway causing pain.

The goal of treatment is to return the child to typical functional activities including school, sports, socializing with friends and other normal lifestyle activities. For many patients, function will return before pain entirely resolves – this is normal, and our team can help your child better understand how their own mind-body connection works.

Referrals for AMPS

Patients must be referred to our center by a physician. To determine whether your child should come to our clinic for a consultation please send us a completed intake form or call us to discuss your child’s situation.

For information about your child’s appointment at CHOP, visit Your Child’s AMPS Evaluation.