December 2020 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
This past year has been one unlike any other we have experienced. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone but, as I’m sure you’re well aware, it has been particularly hard for the one in five Canadians living with pain.

Throughout this challenging year, Pain BC has rapidly mobilized to address the newly emerging needs of people with pain. We’ve added innovative new supports like our Gentle Movement @ Home videos. We’ve also modified existing programs to meet the challenges of our new context, such as moving our previously in-person support groups to a new online format.

Pain BC has increasingly relied on philanthropic giving to make these programs possible. This giving season, if you are able, I ask you to consider making a gift to Pain BC. Your support will enable us to continue our work to ensure no one is alone with pain.

Your tax-deductible gift will allow us to provide group and individual support to people with pain during COVID-19, and long after. A gift of any size can make a tangible difference in the lives of people with pain. For example, if you’re able to commit to making a $16 gift each month, you can provide the learning materials needed to run an entire Pain Support and Wellness Group for an entire year.

We know there are many people in our community whose circumstances don’t allow them to make a donation; we understand. But if you’re able to, we ask that you please give what you can to support the growing need of our community during this challenging time.

Please make your gift to Pain BC today at We’re grateful for your support and wish you a warm holiday season and a hopeful 2021.
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
The following programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Province of British Columbia: Coaching for Health, chronic pain management workshops for health care providers, Gentle Movement and Relaxation course, Live Plan Be, Making Sense of Pain, Pain BC's monthly webinars for health care providers, Pain Foundations, Pain Support and Wellness Groups, Pain Support Line and the Pain Waves podcast.
Free holiday resource for people living with pain: Pain Support Line

We recognize the upcoming holiday season may present unique challenges for people living with pain, but please know you're not alone. If you're looking for support during the holidays, our free Pain Support Line is here to help. Calls are answered by registered social workers who provide a safe space to talk about pain and its impacts, information on pain and pain management, and connection to Pain BC and other community resources.

The Pain Support Line is open on weekdays from 9:00AM-4:00PM. Please note the following holiday hours:

  • December 24, 2020: open from 9:00AM-12:00PM
  • December 25, 2020: closed
  • December 28, 2020: closed
  • December 29-31, 2020: open from 9:00AM-4:00PM
  • January 1, 2021: closed

Get in touch with us at 1-844-880-PAIN or find out more at the link below.
New episode of our Pain Waves podcast
The Canadian Pain Task Force: The latest on best practices for better understanding, preventing and managing pain

The Canadian Pain Task Force is an external advisory body that has been helping the Government of Canada better understand and address the needs of people living with chronic pain since its inception in March of 2019. The Task Force recently delivered its second report - Working together to better understand, prevent and manage pain: What we heard - to Health Canada following extensive consultations from July 2019 through August 2020 with people who live with, or have an interest in, chronic pain.

In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by Pain BC’s Executive Director Maria Hudspith, who co-chairs the Task Force, and Linda Wilhelm, a Task Force member who lives with pain and is the President of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, to learn more about the Task Force’s latest work. They provide an insightful discussion about what they heard from Canadians during the Task Force’s consultations, the expected impact of their latest report to government, and what the next steps are in the Task Force’s three-year mandate.
Our supports for people with pain
Access our free pain self-management resources, including evidence-based articles, assessment tools, and an anonymous discussion forum.
Connect with a trained volunteer to talk about your pain, get help with finding a new physician, find information on community resources, and much more.
Join an online group and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies.
Receive one-on-one phone support and mentorship from a coach who will help you learn about self-management, regaining function and improving your well-being.
Gentle Movement @ Home: Guided movement and relaxation for pain during COVID-19 (and beyond)

Gentle Movement @ Home online sessions provide guided movement and relaxation designed to help people with persistent pain learn to feel safe to move again. Topics include breath awareness and regulation, body tension regulation, and movement and relaxation techniques in both seated and standing positions.

All 37 session recordings are available and free to access on demand via our YouTube channel.
Spotlight: Lancet Child & Adolescent Health Commission

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health Commission has published a new kit – Delivering transformative action in paediatric pain – to centralize the best available tools, expertise, and evidence to provide better treatment for childhood pain globally.

The Commission is based on four transformative goals for advancing pediatric pain over the next 10 years: to make pain matter, understood, visible and better. It also sets out priorities for health care providers, researchers, funders, and policy makers, and calls for cross-sector collaboration to improve the lives of children and adolescents with pain.

The Commission engaged stakeholders from around the world. Two patient partners from Squamish, BC, Zach and Isabel Jordan, played a critical role in the development and publication of this Commission. Zach is 19 years old and lives with chronic pain and a rare disease. Isabel, Zach’s mother, was subsequently diagnosed with the same rare disease and has lived with chronic pain since she was an adolescent.

“It wasn’t recognized that there was this cumulative effect on his body and on his soul,” Isabel says. “As we know now, more and more, there’s long-lasting effects on those pain pathways for some people.”
Virtual conference: Partnering for Pediatric Pain
March 5, 2021

Join Pain BC and BC Children's Hospital for an interactive, practical and evidence-informed pain management education experience through this third annual one-day conference. Engage with pain specialists online from across Canada to explore perceptions of pain while enhancing your understanding of the pain continuum in pediatric hospital care. Registration is open to anyone with an interest in attending, including people outside of BC.

  • $25.00 early-bird registration for health care providers and the general public (until February 6, 2021). The ticket price includes access to all live presentations and recordings.
  • Free for people living with pain and caregivers to attend the live presentations.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
Free webinar: Exploring a stepped care model for chronic pain management (January 12, 2020 from 12:00-1:00PM PST)
In this free webinar, Dr. Patricia Poulin will discuss the "stepped care model" for addressing chronic pain, which was recently implemented at The Ottawa Hospital Pain Clinic. This model provides personalized pain management strategies based on a person's individual needs and responses to different types of therapy.

Free webinar: Vulvodynia: What you need to know about this commonly misdiagnosed chronic condition (January 22, 2020 from 12:00-1:00PM PST)
In this free webinar, Dr. Melanie Altas will provide an in-depth discussion on vulvodynia, its impacts on sexual health and how to diagnose and provide care for people living with this chronic condition.

NEW online workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Chiropractors
This workshop is for chiropractors or students of chiropractic interested in developing or enhancing their clinical skills in the assessment and treatment of people living with complex and chronic pain.

Due to COVID-19, this workshop is now offered online via Zoom and is accessible to chiropractors from any region of the province. Please note that, in its new online format, the course will be broken up into four-hour blocks and will be held over four days in February 2021. Registrants must attend all four sessions and the pre-requisite webinar in order to receive credit.

Workshop details:
  • Pre-requisite webinar date: February 10, 2021 from 6:00-8:00PM PST
  • Workshop dates: February 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2021 from 9:00AM-1:00PM PST

Online workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Registered Massage Therapists
This workshop provides RMTs with an opportunity to learn how modifications of traditional massage therapy practices can increase success and improve outcomes for people in pain.

Due to COVID-19, these workshops are now offered online via Zoom and are accessible to RMTs from any region of the province. Please note that, in its new online format, the course will be broken up into two-hour blocks and will be held over three days.

Upcoming workshop dates:

  • February 26-28, 2021 from 10:00AM-12:00PM PST
  • May 28-30, 2021 from 10:00AM-12:00PM PST
  • September 17-19, 2021 from 10:00AM-12:00PM PST

BC ECHO for Chronic Pain
Health care providers of all disciplines are invited to join our virtual community of practice to gain improved competence in providing care for complex pain cases. Sessions for this cycle will be held each month until June 2021. Providers have the option to register for individual sessions or for the entire cycle. A full list of dates and topics can be found on our website.

Pain Foundations for Allied Health Providers
Pain Foundations for Allied Health Providers is an online course designed for allied health care providers to improve their understanding of chronic pain and how to address the challenges of pain assessment and treatment. This practical, compact course allows learners to develop clinically relevant approaches to chronic pain management and develop a strong grounding in pain science to support further exploration. The course is free for health care providers in BC and offered at a modest cost for providers outside of BC.

Pain Foundations for Primary Care Providers
This practical, compact course allows physicians and nurse practitioners to develop clinically relevant approaches to chronic pain management, including non-pharmacological treatments and prescribing best practices. Learners will develop a strong grounding in pain science to support further exploration. The course is free for primary care providers in BC and offered at a modest cost for physicians and nurse practitioners outside of BC.

Gentle Movement and Relaxation course
This free, online course will equip physiotherapists and other therapeutic movement professionals with practical knowledge and teaching resources to lead their own movement and relaxation programs for people living with chronic pain.

The Gentle Movement and Relaxation course is currently available to BC health care providers only.

Other programs, opportunities and resources
Reminder: One-time payment to people with disabilities

A reminder that the Government of Canada is providing a one-time payment of $600 in recognition of the extraordinary expenses faced by people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes anyone who has applied for and is eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. They have extended their deadline to apply for the Disability Tax Credit until December 31, 2020 (the previous deadline was September 25, 2020).
Free webinar: Innovative ways to mobilize research knowledge with and for patients
January 26, 2021 at 12:00PM PST

The Chronic Pain Network is holding another free webinar on January 26, 2021 as part of its Patient EngagEment in Research (PEER) webinar series, during which panelists will discuss how to work with patient partners to better mobilize research knowledge in innovative ways. Research trainees, health care providers, people living with pain and all others with an interest are invited to attend.
Free conference: International Chronic Pain Virtual Summit
February 4-5, 2021

A second annual International Chronic Pain Virtual Summit is being held on February 4-5, 2021 and will include presentations on cultural aspects of pain, trauma-informed care, chronic pain and work, health care services and policy, as well presentations from people living with pain. Registration is free for anyone who wishes to attend.
Research and engagement opportunities
Research opportunity for youth ages 12 to 25 with pain to share experiences with virtual care

Pain BC has partnered with the SickKids Pain Centre to seek input from youth 12 to 25 years of age living with pain about their experiences and insight on virtual care. The study specifically aims to understand how virtual care can be made more accessible and inclusive for youth living with pain and complex medical needs and their families. Those who participate will be compensated for their time. Anyone interested is encouraged to email Vina Mohabir, Clinical Research Project Assistant at
Public consultations available on various medications for managing pain-related conditions

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) is currently investigating the use of multiple medications for managing pain-related conditions, including psoriatic arthritis and a number of different cancers. As part of their review, they are accepting feedback from patients and health care providers. Anyone interested is encouraged to click the link below to find out more about each medication under consideration and its respective deadline for feedback.

More about CADTH: Once Health Canada has approved a drug for use in Canada, the country’s public drug plans must decide if the drug will be eligible for public reimbursement. The CADTH Common Drug Review (CDR) plays an important role in the decision-making processes. Find out more about the CDR process.
Study for people with cancer and chronic pain

The UBC School of Nursing and SFU School of Interactive Arts + Technology are looking for people with cancer, who also experience chronic pain, to test the use of immersive multimedia experiences for managing pain. Those who participate will be compensated for their time. Please contact Crystal Sun, Project Manager at for more information or if you are interested in participating in the study.
In the news
Managing pain through holiday expectations
This article shares some self-care tips that can be especially helpful for managing pain during the holiday season.
Finding gratitude in unexpected places
The author of this article shares how focusing on gratitude in difficult situations can be helpful for managing pain.
Investigation finds widespread racism against Indigenous peoples in BC health care system
An independent investigation recently found that 84% of Indigenous people in BC report experiencing discrimination while accessing health care.
Coping with social isolation this winter
The Arthritis Society shares some helpful tips on staying connected with loved ones and reducing social isolation throughout the upcoming holidays and winter.
My dog is the best medicine for my anxiety
The author of this article shares how pets can play a pivotal role in managing the anxiety that stems from living with chronic illness.
Things to remember about invisible disabilities
This article raises an incredibly important discussion around how to be more kind and respectful towards people with invisible disabilities.
Chronic pain prepared me for the pandemic
The author of this article reflects on how years of experience with chronic pain has prepared her for the ongoing global pandemic and its associated challenges and restrictions.
How the 'cult of productivity' harms people with chronic illness
This article talks about how measuring a person’s value based on productivity is extremely problematic, especially for those who live with the daily challenges of chronic illness.
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