Pain & Passion

Pain is experienced as a community.

On a pediatric rotation I met a beautiful nine-year-old girl with a complaint of shoulder pain. I questioned her trying and find a cause. There was no trauma associated with the pain. There was no bruising. Every movement was painful during the physical exam.


She had come to the visit with her father who was anxiously sitting in the room. It was obvious that his daughter's pain was affecting him as well. I asked the father, "What's going on at home?" The father explained that he and his wife were getting a divorce. Suddenly, the story made sense. This girl was literally carrying the weight of her parent's stress and pain on her shoulders.


We began to talk about the situation together. There was tears and laughter. While talking about the hardships at home I treated the girl with an osteopathic technique to relax the muscular tension in her shoulders and neck. I then taught them breathing exercises for relaxation and showed the father how...

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