June 2020 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
Pain BC stands in solidarity with black and Indigenous communities in BC and around the world to denounce systemic racism. Black lives matter. Indigenous lives matter.

Systemic racism is not limited to our policing and criminal justice systems. It pervades all our institutions, including the systems of care for people with pain. We know that racism exacerbates the pain experience and that black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) are less likely to receive the care and treatment they need when compared to their white counterparts. Canadian communities with higher numbers of racialized people often have fewer health services and racialized people with pain are more likely to have symptoms dismissed or be seen as “drug-seeking.”

Racialized communities are also more likely to experience trauma, violence, poverty, and homelessness, which increases the prevalence of chronic conditions and further reduces access to health care. Similarly, many Western concepts of pain and pain management aren’t culturally relevant or appropriate for BIPOC. All of these factors contribute to underreported and undertreated pain among BIPOC, and higher rates of illness and premature death.

Pain BC is actively working to improve care for racialized people living with pain. In 2019, we partnered with researchers from the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria to learn about the experiences of people with pain from Indigenous and newcomer/refugee communities. This year, we are applying many of those learnings to our work, including developing diversity, equity and inclusion training for our support service volunteers. We have also launched Making Sense of Pain for Indigenous Peoples, an Elder-led self-management class series designed to provide equal opportunities for education and support for Indigenous people who live with pain.

While these initiatives are a starting point, we recognize there’s still a lot more we can do. What we learn from this work will continue to inform our efforts to ensure that health systems and organizations – including our own – eliminate systemic racism to support all people with pain.
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 allied 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 Pain Waves podcast.
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.
Pain BC needs your help to win $20,000!

As a registered charity, we rely on the generosity and commitment of our supporters to help fund our many programs and services. This June, we’re taking part in Canada Helps’ Great Giving Challenge and we’re asking for your help to win! Every dollar you donate to Pain BC via Canada Helps this month will automatically count as an entry towards a $20,000 prize draw .

We have rapidly mobilized to address the evolving needs of people with pain during the COVID-19 public health emergency but there’s still a lot more we can do. Your contribution will help us continue to provide accessible and safe options for care, movement, empowerment and connection for the 1 in 5 Canadians living with pain during these challenging times.

When you support our work with a donation of any size, you’ll make a direct impact on the lives of people with pain and increase our chances of winning $20,000 from Canada Helps.

Please make your donation today.
PAIN+ CPN: An online database summarizing pain research in plain language
Webinar recording now available

In our most recent webinar, we learned from Dr. Alfonso Iorio about  PAIN+ CPN , a free online database that summarizes emerging pain research in plain language. PAIN+ CPN is updated regularly with articles that are reviewed and rated for clinical relevance and general interest by both health care professionals and people living with chronic pain. Both the database and this corresponding webinar are helpful resources for anyone with an interest in pain, including caregivers, people with pain and health care providers who treat people with pain.
Pain BC's live-stream events for people in pain during physical distancing

Gentle Movement @ Home: Guided movement and relaxation for pain during COVID-19

Gentle Movement @ Home live-streaming 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.

Please note: Gentle Movement @ Home will be taking a break for the summer and our final session will be held on June 30. Anyone interested can r egister for the remaining sessions or access our archive of more than 32 previous session recordings here .
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
NOW ONLINE: 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, our workshops will now be 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 dates:

  • September 25-27, 2020: Register now (Register before September 7 for the early-bird rate)
  • November 20-22, 2020: Register now (Register before October 30 for the early-bird rate)
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
Let's talk about my pain: Webinar for people living with pain during COVID-19
June 26, 2020 from 9AM-1PM PST

The Alberta Pain Society is hosting a free interdisciplinary webinar on June 26, 2020 for people living with pain. The panel is comprised of both pain experts and people with lived experience, and topics of discussion will include:

  • How can I live with pain?
  • Does what I eat matter?
  • How is my sleep affected by pain?
  • Is cannabis something that would benefit me?
Free webinar: The spoon theory and creating a wellness action plan
June 30, 2020 at 10:00AM PST

The Neil Squire Society is hosting a free webinar on June 30, 2020 to discuss the 'spoon theory', a term used to explain the reduced amount of mental and physical energy that people living with chronic illness often experience in relation to managing activities of daily living. The webinar will share effective strategies for managing fatigue and developing an action plan to improve physical, emotional and social well-being.
Resources for people living with arthritis

The Arthritis Society has put together a range of new resources that are designed to be helpful for people living with arthritis, but can be equally helpful for people who live with non-arthritis chronic pain.

Research opportunities
Research study for people in pain experiencing financial difficulties

Researchers from Western University are interested in interviewing people living with chronic pain who are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Eligible participants must be 18+ years of age and speak English, and will receive compensation for their time. To find out more or apply, contact Laura Connoy at lconnoy@uwo.ca or 519-661-2111, ext. 81471.
Research study to understand how people think about pain

Researchers from the University of Technology, Sydney are interested in understanding how people think about pain. They invite anyone with an interest to take this survey, which should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
Survey on renaming "pain catastrophizing"

Researchers from Stanford University have launched a survey to ask for feedback from people with chronic pain, health care providers and researchers on the term "pain catastrophizing" and whether new terminology should be considered. If you have an interest in pain, we encourage you to share your thoughts.
Survey on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities

Researchers from the Abilities Centre are interested in learning about the unique experiences, concerns and needs of people who are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic while living with a disability. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete and the findings will provide important information to help communities ensure that COVID-19 response strategies meet the needs of people living with disabilities.
Survey to understand how COVID-19 is impacting youth with chronic pain

Researchers are interested in learning how COVID-19 has impacted youth living with chronic pain. Canadians aged 8 to 18 who live with chronic pain are invited to share their experiences through this short survey. Family members are also invited to participate.
UBC Vision Lab study with wearable body sensors

The UBC Vision Lab is looking for people with chronic pain to participate in a study that uses a wearable body sensor to look at how nervous system activity is related to emotional and physical well-being. Eligible participants must be at least 18 years of age, fluent in English and not have heart disease. Anyone interested can email Veronica Dudarev at  vdudarev@mail.ubc.ca .
In the news
CAMH statement on police interactions with people in mental health crisis
This statement by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is particularly important to Pain BC as we know pain has many intersections with mental health. The CAMH says those who experience a mental health crisis need immediate support from trained mental health professionals - not police officers - in order to receive compassionate, safe and stigma-free care.
BC doctor urges compassion in response to record-breaking overdose deaths
With the month of May seeing the highest rates of overdose deaths in BC since 2016, Dr. Henry provides important insight on the intersections between pain, substance use and overdose and encourages people to stay connected with loved ones during COVID.
Resources for Canadians living with pain during COVID-19
The Government of Canada and the Canadian Pain Task Force have put together this comprehensive list of pain-specific COVID-19 resources that are available to support people in pain during these especially challenging times.
What it's like being a teenager with chronic pain
The author of this article shares what it's like being a teenager with chronic pain while touching on both the unique challenges of being particularly young with a chronic condition, and other experiences that are likely familiar among adults with pain.
Canadian doctors of colour offer a frank look at racism in medicine
In this article, black, Indigenous and other physicians of colour share their experiences with systemic racism in the Canadian health care system while noting an urgent need for change.
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