Talking to teachers, employers and coaches about physical activity

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​​Teachers, employers and coaches should support you in managing your persistent pain.

Asking for accommodations

If stress is a pain trigger, ask your teacher or boss for more advance notice for assignments or meetings so that you may have extra time to prepare and pace yourself.

If one of your pacing strategies is to change postures frequently then tell your teacher, boss or co-workers that this is part of your pacing plan so that you can feel your best. Show them any equipment you may use such as a physiotherapy ball, sitting disc or trigger point balls to help manage your persistent pain so they are familiar with what you will be using or doing if you are presenting to them or meeting them face-to-face.

If you use your phone to set alarms to remind yourself to stretch or switch postures, talk to your teacher or boss about how you could do this during class or a meeting. Try setting your phone to quiet vibration so you don’t disturb your schoolmates or colleagues. You can also request a letter from your healthcare team to help explain the need for these accommodations – the session about communication has some sample letters to a school​ to give you an idea of the information that is usually shared.

Being open with coaches about how they can help you

Help your support team understand how they can help you feel and do your best. For example, you may discuss with your coach that you need to arrive early to stretch and do pre-sport exercises to feel your best for a game or practice and be able to function the next day. You may also need to stay late after practice to calm your system down and help yourself recover from the activity.

Building trust with your coach is helpful if you have an increase in pain and have to modify your participation significantly. Ask your coach for details of play to watch while you observe from the bench and get more recovery time. This can be a good distraction technique to stay engaged in the game while you allow your body to rest.

Resources to share with teachers, employers or coaches

Your support team will need to educate themselves to be able to understand your experience with pain. To help them understand what it's like to have pain, you might want to recommend some online resources. The videos below are available on YouTube if you wish to share the links with others.​

 

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Last updated: May 2nd 2016