January 2020 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
The new decade brings increased opportunities for Pain BC to enhance the wellbeing of people living with pain. When I reflect on 2019, I feel confident that we are well-positioned to expand our reach, increase our influence, and grow our partnerships in order to get more support and care to people with pain in BC, and beyond.

Key 2019 successes

One highlight of 2019 was the launch of our new Pain Support and Wellness Groups  in 11 communities throughout the province. Since the program’s inception in fall 2019, the in-person groups have supported well over 200 people across the province to learn about pain, pain management and coping strategies, while building supportive networks in their communities. We’ve had wonderful feedback from participants such as one person who recently told us “I am very thankful for this group and to be able to learn and connect."

We also launched Making Sense of Pain this past fall. The 8-week program is designed to provide equal opportunities for education and support to people who live with pain, in addition to poverty, trauma, or substance use. Response to the program has been positive with one participant saying “I know how much [the course] helped me and how much it can help other people. With pain comes depression and a bunch of negative things. The course helps us work through these things.”

We also offered a culturally relevant and safe version of this program for Indigenous communities, who are disproportionately impacted by pain and trauma. For its first cycle, Making Sense of Pain was available at 8 sites throughout the province. 2020 sites are already being established and are expected to begin running later this month. If you are interested in hosting a Making Sense of Pain class series in your community, please contact Jen Hanson, Director of Education, at education@painbc.ca .

We’ve also been working closely with the Canadian Pain Task Force (CPTF), which was launched in last spring by the federal government and is mandated to examine the current state of pain in Canada, to outline an improved approach to treatment, education and research, and to support uptake of this approach across the country.

What’s next in 2020?

With the foundation laid for these new programs, in 2020, we plan to expand both programs in additional communities throughout the province so more people in pain have access to the support they need and deserve.

In 2020, we will continue advocating for systems change at both the provincial and national levels. The CPTF is expected to deliver its second report, which will identify best and leading practices, potential areas for improvement, and elements of an improved approach to the prevention and management of chronic pain in Canada. We have also been working with the provincial government and Provincial Health Services Authority on improving pain services here in BC; we expect to see this work progress into implementation in 2020.

As always, I’d like to thank you for your continued commitment to, and support of, Pain BC’s mission. I look forward to sharing updates with you as this new year, and decade, unfold. Stay tuned!
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
Pain BC programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Government of British Columbia.
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 in-person 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.
Patient advocate: Eileen Davidson

At the young of 29, Eileen Davidson was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic illness that is the leading cause of long-term disability in Canadians of working age. Being a single mother to a son who was only two years old at the time, she quickly realized she couldn’t allow her condition to take over her life and began pursuing ways to get involved in raising awareness for the condition she was learning to live with.

In 2017, Eileen created her personal blog,  Chronic Eileen , to share her experience living with RA, educate others about the devastating effects of arthritis on 1 in 5 Canadians who are diagnosed with it, and provide a voice for other people living with various forms of arthritis. Since then, her blog has won awards from digital media companies like  Healthline  and  Everyday Health  for being one of the “best blogs of 2019” and the “top 10 arthritis blogs to follow in 2020,"respectively.
New episode of our Pain Waves podcast

When chronic pain is complicated by factors such as poverty, poor mental health, substance use or trauma, it can further limit a person’s ability to access health care.

In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by physiotherapist William Bateman to learn about the Downtown Eastside Chronic Pain Service, a first-of-its-kind program that provides non-pharmacological pain management support to people living with pain in Vancouver who experience marginalization.
Pain Support and Wellness Groups: Become a volunteer facilitator!

Pain BC's Pain Support and Wellness Groups  offer an opportunity for people living with persistent pain to meet regularly and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies. Each 2-hour session allows participants to share their experiences, discuss self-management skills and take part in gentle movement exercises as a group.

We're currently looking for volunteer facilitators to co-lead/facilitate in-person groups in Chilliwack, Fort St. John, Quesnel, Vancouver and Victoria. As a volunteer, you will receive thorough training and educational materials from Pain BC, as well as ongoing support from Pain BC staff to facilitate the group in your community. Read the full role description or find out more about how to apply via the link below.
Join the Pain BC team: Instructional Designer position available

Pain BC's Education team is currently hiring for the position of Instructional Designer . The Instructional Designer is responsible for the delivery of Pain BC’s educational programs for health care providers, patients, and our volunteer community. If you or anyone you know has instructional design experience and an interest in health and medical education, check out the posting below for more information. The posting will close at 5:00pm at January 24, 2020. Please share the posting with anyone in your network who may be interested.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses
Pain BC workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Occupational Therapists
This workshop is for occupational therapists interested in learning about the neurophysiology of pain and how it relates to OT intervention.

Jan 31-Feb 1, 2020 in Vancouver:  Register now
Pain BC 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.

March 8, 2020 in Nanaimo: Register now
May 31, 2020 in Surrey: Register now
September 27, 2020 in Kelowna: Register now
October 18, 2020 in Vancouver: Register now
Pain BC 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.

Sep 26-27, 2020 in Kelowna : Register now
BC ECHO for Chronic Pain
This new and free virtual learning community brings together specialists and community health care providers from around the province to learn together from complex pain cases.

Upcoming sessions:

Session 5: The pain-focused history and sensory exam
  • Date and time: January 21, 2020 from 6-8pm PST
  • Presenters: Dr. Rodica Janz and Roly Fletcher

Session 6: Headaches
  • Date and time: February 18, 2020 from 6-8pm PST
  • Presenters: TBC

Each 2-hour session includes a real, anonymous patient case discussion, which can be submitted by any attending health care provider. To submit a case, please email arielle@painbc.ca .

Upcoming webinars

Polyvagal theory and pain care: January 23, 2020 from 12-1pm PST
In this webinar, Marlysa Sullivan, PT, C-IAYT, ERYT-500 will discuss different methods by which the ANS can be positively regulated to help manage pain, including the Polyvagal theory, yoga and the cultivation of eudaimonic well-being. Register now

The therapeutic alliance: February 6, 2020 from 12-1pm PST
In this webinar, physiotherapist Steve Young will review the evidence supporting the use of therapeutic alliance and simple things that health care providers can do on a daily basis to improve interactions with patients. Register now
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.

Pain Foundations
This online course is designed to address the challenges faced by health care providers of all disciplines when assessing and treating people living with chronic pain. The course is free for health care providers in BC; a pricing structure for other geographical locations is coming soon.

Other programs, opportunities and resources
Survey on CIHR strategic priorities for health services and policy research

The CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (CIHR-IHSPR) is developing its strategic plan for 2020-2025. The plan will identify strategic directions and research priorities that support the health services and policy research community in addressing the most serious challenges that exist within the Canadian health care system.

As part of developing their strategic plan, they are seeking input from the public via a short survey to identify areas of health services and research that are of most interest to Canadians. Whether you live with pain or are a caregiver, health care provider, researcher, or other stakeholder with an interest in pain, we encourage you to fill out the survey to call for additional investments in pain research and knowledge translation initiatives to improve pain care across Canada.
Free Gentle Movement and Relaxation seminars for people with pain
Taking place on the second Wednesday of each month in Surrey

Solaj Laser & Wellness Clinic is hosting free, monthly seminars on gentle movement and relaxation for people living with chronic pain. The seminars are facilitated by two health care providers who have completed Pain BC's Gentle Movement and Relaxation Course . Seminars will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 3:15pm beginning January 8, 2020. The seminars are free to attend and anyone interested can reserve their spot by emailing info@solaj.ca or calling 604 385 3358.
Public consultation: Medication for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis

The  Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health  (CADTH) is currently investigating the use of Duobrii (Halobetasol propionate and tazarotene) for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, a painful chronic illness targeting the body's skin cells. As part of their review, they are accepting feedback from patients until February 14, 2020.

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: Immersive Multimedia Experiences for Cancer Patients with 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 as a form of pain management. Research participants will be able to complete the study from their home and will be provided with an honorarium for their time. More information on the study, including eligibility, can be accessed here . To apply, please contact Crystal Sun, Project Manager at crystal.sun@ubc.ca .
Lived experience scholarships for CPS 2020 Scientific Meeting

The Canadian Pain Society is encourage people with lived experience of pain, including children, adolescents and caregivers, who is interested in attending their 2020 Scientific Meeting in Calgary, Alberta from May 19-22, 2020, to apply for a Lived Experience Scholarship.

Each Lived Experience Scholarship will cover meeting registration, hotel, and travel (i.e., economy airfare), gala dinner expenses, as required, to the meeting in Calgary and will be paid in advance to the selected scholarship recipient(s). Where necessary, for example in the case of a child or adolescent awardee, funding will also be provided for a parent/caregiver. The application deadline is Feb.10, 2020.
Indigenous Cultural Safety Training: Available for free to PVN members

The Patient Voices Network (PVN) is sponsoring 17 patient partners to participate in San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety Training .

San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training is an online training program designed to enhance self-awareness, strengthen skills, develop understanding and promote positive partnerships with those who work both directly and indirectly with Indigenous peoples. By the end of the course, participants will have examined culture, stereotyping, and the consequences and legacies of colonization. Anyone wishing to must be a member of the Patient Voices Network.
Survey: Creating a vision for enhancing fair access to assistive technology in Canada

AGE-WELL NCE is Canada's Technology and Aging Network that is dedicated to driving innovation and developing technologies and services to support older adults and caregivers. People of all ages and abilities can benefit from assistive technology. Assistive technology can be used to maintain or improve function and participation in activities ranging from moving from one place to another, hearing or speaking, toileting, cooking meals, attending school, working, or taking part in community activities.

AGE-WELL is currently developing a policy vision for enhancing fair access to assistive technologies in Canada. They encourage you to participate in this short survey if you are an adult, are aged 18 years or older, are living in Canada, and:

  1. Currently use assistive technology;
  2. Feel you may benefit from use of assistive technology; or
  3. Provide unpaid care for someone who uses assistive technology.
In the news
What it's like when secondary issues impact your chronic pain
The author of this article shares some insight on how self-care can help with managing secondary health issues when they arise - a common experience for many people living with chronic pain.
U of T and international researchers focus on surprisingly high incidence of chronic pain in adolescents
An international research collaboration has been awarded a $9-million research grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to tackle the issue of chronic musculoskeletal pain in adolescents.
The best papers of 2019
Modern Pain Care lists the most significant pain-related studies and journal articles of 2019, as determined by its community members.
2019 Canadian Pain Task Force update
In case you missed it, this blog post sum marizes some of the federal action that has taken place since the establishment of the Canadian Pain Task Force in spring 2019.
Making realistic resolutions for a New Year with chronic illness
A person with pain shares some insight on making meaningful new year's resolutions to help with managing a chronic illness.
My husband wasn't my saviour. I am.
The author of this article shares the impacts of chronic illness on her marriage and how she has relearned to support herself in the aftermath of a divorce.
© 2020 Pain BC Society. All Rights Reserved.
 1508 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J 1W8
Connect with us