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 Zak Zoppins Retrains His Brain (book 4)

Parents & Carers

And hello again caregivers!


Once you have read the 4th book and tried out the worksheets above, you may have questions. We’d encourage you to write these down and seek out a health professional trained specifically in paediatric pain rehabilitation. They can use what you have been learning as a foundation for a plan that navigates the ups and downs of pacing or graded exposure.


Remember, the principles in these books aren’t only for tummy pain or back pain, they apply to all pain locations.


If you have any feedback to the team developing these online resources, please let us know! We carefully consider these emails and value your input enormously.


Hello again healthcare professionals! This book is an introduction to graded exposure and pacing. Zoe’s cousin Zak has successfully improved his function in this book, and in the next book we’ll see that Zoe does too!

Before diving straight into treatment, a paediatric-specific assessment is essential. Here is a paper focussed on low back pain in children, but the principles are the same for other musculoskeletal conditions:

  • Pate JW, Joslin R, Hurtubise K, Anderson DB. Assessing a child or adolescent with low back pain is different to assessing an adult with low back pain. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The scientific evidence supports exercise as part of multidisciplinary rehabilitation for persistent pain. Movement is not only safe but one big key to improving:

  • Harrison LE, Pate JW, Richardson PA, Ickmans K, Wicksell RK, Simons LE. Best-Evidence for the Rehabilitation of Chronic Pain Part 1: Pediatric Pain. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019; 8(9):1267.

COPI items that may change the most with this book:

  • 10. The brain can make pain better or worse.

  • 13. Pain usually feels better if you move your body a little bit more each day.

Zak’s plan on page 19 is a wonderful starting point for a child to start seeing a glimpse of a ‘success story’. The worksheet above on this page can then be printed off and completed with patients. We would love to hear how you find these papers and activities as we want to iteratively improve the content on these pages, so please let us know what you think!


Hi teachers, you may have seen the worksheets already - we think that by now you know that you have full license to take them and use them how you please in a classroom setting.


As always, please contact us if you have feedback, ideas, stories, or suggestions.


The dream of preventative pain science education (‘mass conceptual change’, just like the Slip Slop Slap campaign of the 1980’s in Australia) is just beginning!

Zak dot-to-dot

Connect the dots in number order to complete this picture of Zak Zoppins


Word find

Find all ten words that describe how Zak retrained his body and brain.


Do you want to see the online activities (parents, clinicians, & teachers) for the other books in the series? 

Also, here are the links to the Kid's pages for each book:

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