Ask Us Answers - Consistent Schedule

Great question! One of the key goals in the recovery from chronic pain is to help the body adjust to doing more activity over time. It's common to fall into the pattern of doing more when you feel better (for example, a full school day on a good day) and resting when you feel worse (for example, a partial school day or no school at all when pain is present).  However, this pattern, sometimes called the "boom and bust" cycle, does not usually lead to lasting gains.  A better strategy is to find your child's baseline (how much school can he typically attend?) and then plan a small and consistent increase from there.  Once the attendance plan is in place, it's essential to support your child in sticking to this plan every day.  With this steady school attendance plan, his brain and body will learn that he can function, even on a day when there is increased discomfort.  I often say that kids who are recovering from chronic  pain are like the tortoise not the hare; they will get to the finish line faster if they go slow and steady!  A slow and steady approach like this gives kids the time and experience they need to grow their confidence in their ability to stay present at school, hang out with friends, ease back into activities and break the frustrating boom and bust cycle!

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