May 2020 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with pain have been far-reaching, including disruptions to necessary in-person treatments, increased isolation, significant delays in planned surgeries and many more. While some essential services and programs have pivoted to offering virtual care, people in pain continue to grapple with serious challenges to their health and well-being.

Canada’s response to these challenges must be rooted in the lived experiences of people with pain. This month, I encourage you to take advantage of two opportunities to share with researchers and policy makers how COVID-19 has impacted your pain, pain management and well-being.

Canadian Pain Task Force national consultation on chronic pain

As part of its three-year mandate, the Canadian Pain Task Force launched a national consultation in February of this year to hear from Canadians on how to improve the way chronic pain is understood and managed in our country. Now, more than ever, the Task Force would like to hear from people in pain about their ideas, experiences and concerns on how to effectively address the issue of pain in Canada during COVID-19 and beyond. The online consultation is open to anyone with an interest in pain, including people with pain, caregivers, health care providers, researchers, policy makers and the general public. If you haven’t had a chance to already, I encourage you to take the time to fill it out before May 29, 2020 and share it with family, friends and colleagues who have a mutual interest in pain. Take the survey here .

Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who live with chronic pain in Canada

The University of Montréal and University of Québec is studying how the COVID pandemic and associated restrictions have impacted the experience, treatment, daily lives and well-being of Canadians with chronic pain. This survey is specifically intended for people who are 18 years of age or older and have lived with pain for more than three months. Anyone who completes the survey will automatically be entered in a draw to win one of 10 $100 prepaid Visa gift cards. The survey should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete and is available until May 31, 2020. Take the survey here or share this opportunity with other people living with pain in your network.

Thank you for helping us learn more about the needs of people living with pain during this challenging and unprecedented time. Your experiences will make a meaningful contribution to how these challenges are addressed across Canada.
COVID resources for people in pain
How Pain BC is responding to the needs of people in pain during COVID

During COVID-19, Pain BC continues to operate at full capacity and is rapidly mobilizing to address the emerging needs of people with pain. Find out more about how o ur work in education, support services, research and advocacy have and will continue to pivot to meet the unprecedented challenges of this time. You can also find news, information and resources specifically for people in pain that can be helpful during this time.
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. R egister for an upcoming session below or access recordings from past sessions.
New episode of our Pain Waves podcast

How COVID and physical distancing are impacting people with pain

The current public health emergency has created a challenging situation for most people, but it is especially difficult for people who already live with complex health conditions like chronic pain.

On this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we listen to the lived experiences of five people with chronic pain from across Canada as they share how COVID-19 is impacting their ability to manage pain, well-being and other aspects of daily life.
Pain Support and Wellness Groups: Now online
Groups meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month

To support physical distancing, our in-person Pain Support Groups have moved online . Groups can now be accessed by Zoom  videoconferencing from a computer, smartphone or tablet, or by calling in from a telephone. People in pain can register for a group serving their geographic region or there is also a Men’s Only Group, which is open to self-identified men from any area of BC.

We would greatly appreciate if you could share this with anyone in pain who would benefit from attending an online group. Thank you!
CHANGEpain Clinic: MSP-covered virtual group classes for pain during COVID-19

The CHANGEpain Clinic is offering virtual group classes on pain care during COVID-19. The multidisciplinary pain, rehabilitation and peri-operative optimization centre offers more than 40 interactive sessions per week, including pain neuroscience, brain health, mental health, sleep, physical rehabilitation/conditioning, and various pain conditions. All sessions are led by pain physicians co-facilitated with an allied health team. Participation is covered by MSP without a physician referral.

As one of 15 centres supporting the BC Surgical Patient optimization Collaborative (SPOC), these group sessions also help patients prepare for surgery. The clinic also has specific veteran-designed sessions and coordinated program services for Canadian veterans.

For more information on the group sessions and how to access them,  click here   or call 604-566-9101.
UBC Pharmacists Clinic: Accepting referrals for free virtual care

The UBC Pharmacists Clinic has transitioned to virtual services and is able to provide support to people in pain who are on complex drug therapies and need extra time with a pharmacist. Its services are available for free and can be accessed by phone or secure videoconference. People with chronic pain who would like to request an appointment with a pharmacist can do so through this secure email link or by calling 604-827-2584.
Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic: Free online education and exercise classes during physical distancing

The  Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic  is offering a series of free online education and exercise classes to promote both physical and mental health while staying safe at home. Classes are open to everyone and upcoming topics include pain education, pain management and sleep.
ConnecTra: Free virtual activities for people with disabilities

ConnecTra is offering free virtual activities for people with disabilities during COVID-19 and physical distancing, including educational videos, live and interactive webinars, podcasts, accessible fitness programs and more.
Pain BC programs, resources and opportunities
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.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
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 session:

  • Providing trauma-informed care (June 16, 2020 from 6:00-8:00PM PST) with Dr. Wesley Buch, R. Psych

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
Free webinar: Living with chronic pain following an alcohol-involved motor vehicle accident
May 30, 2020 at 12:00pm PST

Pain BC Director of Support Services, Dorota Hedzelek, and board member Dr. Wesley Buch have been invited by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada to lead a webinar on the impacts of living with chronic pain following a motor vehicle accident. Anyone with an interest in pain is invited to join.
Feedback opportunity: Medication for Crohn's disease
Accepting feedback until June 24, 2020

The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) is currently investigating the use of Entyvio ( vedolizumab ) for Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease often characterized by chronic pain. They are accepting feedback from people who live with Crohn's disease as part of their review until June 24, 2020.
New podcast for BC caregivers

Family Caregivers of British Columbia has launched a new podcast that highlights the voices and experiences of BC caregivers. If you are currently a caregiver for someone during the COVID-19 crisis, we encourage you to take some time for yourself and listen to this new podcast.
Other research opportunities
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 .
British Columbia Chronic Pain Data Registry

Researchers from Fraser Health and the University of British Columbia are looking for people in pain who receive care from the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre to participate in a research study. The study aims to create a data registry of people with pain who also experience issues with anxiety, sleep disturbance and physical function. To find out more or express your interest, contact the study coordinator, Jessie Dhillon, at or 604-581-2211 ext.774567.
Converting patient emergency department records
Survey available until May 30, 2020

If you're 19 years of age or older and have visited an emergency department (ED) in BC in the last five years as a patient, UBC researchers want to know what you think about converting patient ED records from paper records to digital files. Take this short survey by May 30, 2020 .
Database for Cannabis Consumption & Study

Database for Cannabis Consumption and Study (DataCann) is a research database interested in capturing information on people with chronic non-cancer pain who take cannabis. The study involves completing online surveys at regular intervals for as long as it takes to complete the database, which would take up to five years. If you live with chronic non-cancer pain, are more than 18 years of age, take cannabis and would like to participate, click on the link below and enter "9K9MNFW88" for the access code.
In the news
Launch of the Chronic Pain Centre for Excellence for Canadian Veterans
McMaster University recently announced the launch of the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans, a much-needed service that will focus on addressing the complex challenges and needs of the more than 40% of Canadian Veterans who live with chronic pain.
Managing chronic pain during the COVID-19 pandemic: A patient perspective
In this RELIEF article, an advocate with pain shares the challenges of managing and living with pain during COVID-19 and the associated physical distancing restrictions.
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: A brief overview
This journal article summarizes how there is currently no evidence available to suggest that chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, a medication used for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, are effective for the prevention of COVID-19. 
P artnering with your health care professional to prevent pain: Information for patients
This IASP fact sheet highlights key messages that people with lived experience and pain researchers have identified as being helpful for preventing chronic pain.
New clinical trial finds clear benefits of TENS for fibromyalgia
New clinical research finds that Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) has beneficial pain-relieving effects in nearly 50% of study participants with fibromyalgia.
Virtual mental health services for everyone
Whether you're a person in pain, caregiver, health care provider or member of the public - if COVID-19 is impacting your health, there are many virtual resources available to help.
The pros and cons of telehealth
This article investigates some of the positive aspects of telehealth, or virtual health services, along with some of the limitations when compared to in-person care and treatment.
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