Episode5 Segment 7 - Explaining my pain to teachers and friends? How will I stay connected?

Fast Fact 1

Tell your family
and friends about
your pain

Fast Fact 2

Create strategies
to stay connected
with your friends

Pain is not something other people can see. Your friends and class mates may not understand your pain because they cannot see it and do not understand what is happening to you. It is a good idea to help your close friends understand chronic pain, and how it is different to acute pain (if you want more information, go to Episode 1). Sometimes when people do not understand something, they come to their own conclusions. This can be very different from the real situation.

Educating those around you about chronic pain can help them better understand and support you.

Pain and School - Some tips and troubleshooting from a parent (PDF File - 370Kb)

Activities to try

If your pain is stopping you from participating in certain activities, a good way to rejoin is through suggesting to your friends some activities that you know you can do. This way, you can join in and not be on the sideline. Listed below are some examples.

Card games (Have a pack of cards in your locker/bag)
Conversation Topics (TV shows, movies, music, weekend events, school subjects)
Walk and Talk
Basketball / Throwing Hoops
Juggling (Teach your friends

Seeing friends outside of school is also helpful for motivation

  • Get them involved with your exercise plan
  • Mix some physical activity with quiet activity
  • Go for a walk or jog with your friends
  • Go with your friends to the shops, park, beach or river
  • Plan ahead on how you will manage your pain during the activity and put these measures in place  (rest breaks, distraction techniques)

Remember to have fun.

User Activity

This activity is about checking your understanding of the key messages presented in this episode.


Listed in the table below are some comments. Tick the word 'True' or 'False' below next to the comment.

1. Staying at home is the best way to manage pain.

True False

2. If you have a return-to-school plan, you can still negotiate pick up times with your parents or caregivers if your pain is intense.

True False

3. You should practise pain management strategies at various times throughout the day, even if you don’t have pain, to try and prevent flare-ups

True False

4. 'Stepping back' is a good strategy for managing negative thoughts at school

True False

5. Teachers should be told about your chronic pain and how it impacts on concentration

True False