Tips for Visiting Amusement Parks With Chronic Pain

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. | Aug 15th 2017

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The summer season screams amusement parks. However, between miles of walking and rides that can cause further injury, amusement parks can be challenging if you are living with chronic pain.

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Visit the park’s website

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Studying a map of the park before you visit to locate premium parking, shade, and resting areas can be helpful. Many park websites also have a guest services menu that will provide information about park amenities to make your day more comfortable.

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Pick the best time to go

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If you call ahead, the staff can tell you which days of the week are typically the slowest. Avoiding crowds and long lines can help. Also, if your pain tends to build throughout the day, plan an early morning adventure to the park. Or, if you typically wake up stiff and sore, wait until later in the day to visit.

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Consider extra accommodations

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Even if you do not require a wheel chair in your daily life, special accommodations may help your staying power at an amusement park. Do not think of it as a sign of weakness. Rather, consider it an extra level of comfort available for guests.

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Everyone plays a role

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Amusement park visitors love to have someone in the group who is willing to take photos and watch belongings while everyone else is screaming their heads off on a roller coaster.

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Not everyone loves to ride

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Chronic pain is just one reason someone may not want to experience the rides at an amusement park. Fear, motion sickness, and standing in long lines can also be reasons to skip rides. Some people might be relieved to have an excuse to keep you company and take a pass on the rides.

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Go with a good attitude

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If you do not feel well at the park, just state the fact to your companions and let everyone know you need a break. You may say, “I am doing really well, but taking frequent breaks will help the day stay great.”

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Talk to your medical professional

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If you know ahead of time that you have a physical day planned at the park, your doctor or physical therapist may have some ideas to help your day go better.

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The bottom line

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Remember that you do not have to be at the center of the action to be an important part of the adventure. Planning ahead and keeping realistic expectations will allow you to make special memories of your day at the amusement park, along with everyone else.