My child has amplified pain. Now what?

When your child or teen who has been struggling with chronic pain gets diagnosed with an amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome it can be tough to know where to start. You’ve found the right place. Here you will find a wealth of information from medical professionals who are experts on the various forms of amplified musculoskeletal pain syndromes in children and adolescents.

After carefully going through this site you should leave knowing:

  • What amplified pain is, what the different forms are, how the pain signals become so strong, and what the medical community believes the cause to be.

  • Other conditions that your child may need to be monitored for.

  • How some of the world’s leading children’s hospitals effectively treat children with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndromes and what treatments, according to research, should be avoided.

  • All the hospitals in the US that offer amplified pain programs.

  • How to put together a medical team for your child and get the resources and literature needed to replicate amplified pain programs in your home community.

  • How to help your child and family cope through this distressing period.

  • How to address school, trouble sleeping, abdominal symptoms, pain behaviors, other forms of chronic pain, and several other issues.

  • You will also find research and guides that can be printed out and taken to your child’s physician, physical therapist, psychologist, teachers, etc.

If you still have questions after going through the website, then please contact us. While we cannot give any medical advice, we can provide general information and can even arrange for professional support for qualified health care professionals on your child’s medical team.

Stop Childhood Pain

What is Amplified Pain?

Amplified musculoskeletal pain syndromes include a variety of chronic pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)—formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), reflex neurovascular dystrophy (RND), neuropathic pain, idiopathic pain syndrome, and myofascial pain syndrome. Much of the information you will find online pertains only to adults, particularly when it comes to fibromyalgia and CRPS.

Many children with amplified pain will see several doctors over months or even years before getting a diagnosis (or getting a correct diagnosis). Since most children with amplified pain will have normal or close to normal diagnostic tests, their pain is often called idiopathic pain syndrome. The word idiopathic simply means that the cause is not known. Amplified pain is caused by a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system and most children who are diagnosed with idiopathic pain syndrome very likely have one of the various forms of amplified pain. If you have been given the diagnosis of idiopathic pain syndrome, it would be wise to see a physician who is highly experienced with the various types of amplified pain. Additionally, many children have amplified pain in conjunction with other conditions that would not normally cause the levels of pain the child is experiencing.

AMPS Video
Available to Stream for Free

The full AMPS video is a comprehensive guide to the diagnosis and treatment of children and teens with amplified musculoskeletal pain syndromes (AMPS) such as fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), RSD, RND, neuropathic pain and myofascial pain. The treatment detailed here is successful in the vast majority of patients treated by the AMPS team at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Excerpt: Amplified Pain Mechanism Explained

Stop Childhood Pain

Meet Dr. Sherry

Stop Childhood Pain is run by The Childhood RND Educational Foundation, Inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educating health professionals and families who deal with AMPS.

Stop Childhood Pain

Stop Childhood Pain


We hold a 5K run/walk in the Philadelphia area every year to support the AMPS program at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to ensure you get updates.

Stop Childhood Pain

Stop Childhood Pain


Juvenile fibromyalgia, diffuse amplified pain, and myofascial pain are discussed here. The different names do not change the cause or treatment.

Stop Childhood Pain

Stop Childhood Pain


One of the more dramatic and visible forms of amplified pain is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) which was formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). This page is focused on localized amplified pain.


Matt's story

Diffuse Amplified Pain (Myofascial Pain, Fibromyalgia, etc.)
Stop Childhood Pain


Localized Amplified Pain (CRPS, RSD, etc.)
Stop Childhood Pain

AMPS Video Testimonials

"In a word...Superb"

Bram Bernstein, MD

Early researcher in childhood RND

"I love this video program. The tape is clear and useful (and provides) enough detail to benefit physicians, therapists, nurses, and councilors in their work with pain patients. In fact, I think that most patients and families would want to watch the tape to learn more about their condition and its treatment. I highly recommend it!"

Brian M. Feldman MD, MSc, FRCPC

"This video shows dramatically how intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy can cure children with RSD"

Peter Malleson, MBBS MRCP FRCPC

"It is an excellent guide to the types of physical therapy used in your program and to the techniques used to motivate the kids to exercise despite their pain."

Alexander R. Lawton, MD