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Progressive muscle relaxation as treatment option for children/adolescents with functional gastrointestinal disorders

Background:Functional gastrointestinal disorders are very common among children/adolescents.They are defined as a variable combination of chronic or recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms, not explained by structural or biochemical abnormalities. Abdominal pain is the prevalent symptom of all these conditions. Stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of these disorders. Traditional medical treatment is not always effective, has various adverse effects and high cost. Aim:Aim of this article was to provide information about the current knowledge of the pathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders and the brain-gut axis and to inform about the use of progressive muscle relaxation as treatment option for the management of abdominal pain. Method and Material: An introduction of the new evidence based alternative and complementary therapies such as progressive muscle relaxation that are effective in ameliorating suffering and abdominal pain. Results: Progressive Muscle Relaxation is an evidenced based technique that reduces stress and pain. Usually it is part of the therapeutic package of mind body medicine. It is a simple, non invasive therapy with potential benefits for treating pediatric abdominal pain. It can be taught easily to patients and can be used anytime, anywhere. It can be applied from paraprofessional and reduces medical expenses. Conclusions: Progressive muscle relaxation offers a treatment option for chronic abdominal pain in children/adolescents.Large scale randomized control studies are needed in order to provide sufficient evidence for the effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation for pediatric chronic abdominal pain.

Author(s): Christaki Maria

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