Pain BC General Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
The dual public health crises of COVID-19 and the overdose crisis continue to significantly impact people who live with pain in Canada. It’s in this particularly urgent context that we welcome the news that Health Canada has fast-tracked and strengthened the mandate of the Canadian Pain Task Force.
The Task Force’s work was initially scheduled to conclude with its third report to government in December 2021. In response to the increasingly urgent needs of people with pain, the Task Force will now present its third report to Health Canada in March 2021.

In this final report, the Task Force has been asked to provide “recommendations on priority actions to ensure people with pain are recognized and supported and that pain is understood, prevented, and effectively treated across Canada.” This new mandate may seem to some like a subtle change from the Task Force’s previous mandate to “facilitate the implementation” of best practices across Canada. However, as Co-Chair of the Task Force, I see this as a welcome opportunity to provide concrete recommendations to the federal government and to provide a unified call to action for pain advocates across the country to rally behind.
You can read the full revised Terms of Reference on the Government of Canada website. I look forward to sharing more about this work when the Task Force’s final report is released in the spring. 
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.
Addressing chronic pain and overdose in the trades

The overdose crisis has taken the lives of more than 6,500 British Columbians and more than 17,000 Canadians since 2016. Many of those who have died have several things in common: they were mostly male, a significant number worked in construction and supporting industries, and more than half were living with physical pain.

For that reason, Pain BC was eager to take part in a Ministerial Roundtable on the Opioid Overdose Crisis and the Trades that was held by the Government of Canada this past December. The virtual event brought together representatives from industry, unions, health research, workplace safety and people with lived experience with the aim of better understanding the root causes of problematic substance use in the trades, including the substantial impact of pain on those employed in the industry.

Overdose in the trades is a critical issue for our organization and for the pain community. As many as 75% of workers in the construction industry report experiencing ongoing musculoskeletal pain, which puts them at increased risk for substance use and overdose.
Racial disparities in pain management among Black Canadians
New Pain Waves podcast episode

Research shows that Black Canadians are disproportionately impacted by pain and less likely to receive appropriate care when compared to white people.

In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by researcher Dr. Kimberley Kaseweter and pain advocate Desmond Williams to learn about how racism and discrimination affect Black Canadians when accessing health care for pain management. Kimberley shares findings from her research and Desmond shares his personal experiences with accessing care for pain in BC as a person of colour.
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.

The full collection of Gentle Movement @ Home videos are available to view for free via our YouTube channel.
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 virtual one-day conference. Engage online with pain specialists 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.
Two advocates with pain co-author toolkit on neuropathic pain

Keith Meldrum and Pete Moore are patient advocates living with chronic pain who have teamed up to create a new Pain Toolkit for Neuropathic Pain. The new resource is specifically designed to support people living with neuropathic pain with self-management tips and recommendations. It is based on an earlier Pain Toolkit, created by Pete in 2001 as a more general resource to learn how to self-manage pain.

In addition to supporting people who live with neuropathic pain, the Pain Toolkit for Neuropathic Pain is also designed to help health care professionals initiate and guide self-management conversations with patients.

The digital toolkit is available to download for $11.99. The pair are generously donating proceeds from all Canadian sales of the toolkit to Pain BC because they value Pain BC’s mission to enhance the well-being of all people living with pain.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
Free webinar: Orofacial pain: Strategies for diagnosis and management (February 10, 2020 from 12:00-1:00PM PST)
In this free webinar, dentist and pain researcher Dr. Alberto Herrero Babiloni will discuss orofacial pain, a common subset of pain disorders that are specific to areas of the jaw, face, mouth and head.

NEW online workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Occupational Therapists
This workshop is for occupational therapists and OT students 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 three blocks and will be held over three days in March 2021. Registrants must attend all three sessions and complete the pre-requisite Pain Foundations modules in order to receive credit

Required course components:
  • Two pre-requisite modules from Pain BC's Pain Foundations online course
  • Workshop dates: March 12-13, 2021 from 9:00AM-2:00PM PST AND March 29, 2021 from 6:00-8:00PM PST

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 six-hour blocks and will be held over two 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, 2021 from 9:00AM-3:00PM 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:

  • May 28-30, 2021 from 10:00AM-12:00PM PST
  • September 17-19, 2021 from 10:00AM-12:00PM PST
  • October 15-17, 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
Upcoming free virtual education sessions with Cassie and Friends

Cassie and Friends has launched a new series of evidence-based virtual education sessions to help families impacted by pediatric rheumatic diseases learn how to navigate life with a chronic condition. Attendees will hear from a pediatric rheumatology expert and a patient and/or parent speaker, and a live Q+A period will be available at the end of each session. Upcoming topics and dates include:

  • Nutrition: February 27, 2021 at 4:30PM PST
  • Methotrexate: March 27, 2021 at 4:30PM PST
Wellness Beyond the Binary Hub

Wellness Beyond the Binary Hub is a free digital hub that provides people of marginalized genders with recommended options for safe and gender-affirming health care resources across the Lower Mainland. Resources listed on its website include health care and sexual health services, mental health and counselling services, general wellness and support resources, and online education resources.
Feedback opportunity from Patented Medicine Prices Review Board
Accepting feedback until February 15, 2021

The Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) is a Canadian federal agency with a mandate to protect Canadian consumers by ensuring that the prices of patented medication charged by manufacturers of patented drugs are not excessive. The board investigates, reviews and negotiates the price of individual drugs that are still under patent and for which there are no generic substitutes.

It is seeking feedback from the public on two proposed amendments to the new PMPRB Guidelines that seek to change the definition of "Gap medicines" and the timeline for compliance with the Maximum List Price (MLP) ceiling for Grandfathered and Gap medications. Anyone interested is invited to share their feedback by February 15, 2021 by emailing
Research and engagement opportunities
Ongoing health research opportunities through Reach BC

Reach BC is an initiative created by BC's health authorities and partner universities with an overarching goal of making health care better for everyone. Reach BC connects British Columbians with health research of their interest to participate in. Anyone interested is encouraged to sign up on their website to be matched with research opportunities.
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
Time to dismantle anti-Black racism in Canadian medicine
This journal article highlights the urgent need to address the systemic anti-Black racism that exists in the Canadian medical system and its grave impacts on Black Canadians.
Pathways Medical Directory provides up-to-date information on virtual and in-person care
British Columbians can now access this online directory to easily find up-to-date information on how doctors are providing virtual and in-person care during COVID-19 and beyond.
Why virtual doctor visits are the gift that keeps on giving for my family
A caregiver highlights how virtual care has been extremely helpful for her family during COVID-19.
Finding self-worth in a life with chronic illness
The author of this article reflects on how finding and acknowledging self-worth has been extremely helpful in a life with chronic illness.
I have a chronic illness. Here's why I hate New Year's resolutions
The author of this article shares how New Year's resolutions can be harmful for people living with chronic illness and that "doing the best you can is resolution enough."
Six ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected me as a person with chronic illness
"Chronic Eileen", who lives with pain as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has personally impacted her health and well-being over the past year.
Arthritis Society: Mindfulness meditation
This Arthritis Society article shares a short mindfulness meditation exercise that can help with managing pain and symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.
Why I'm thankful for the lessons this horrible year taught me
A person with chronic illness expresses gratitude for the lessons they learned throughout the exceptional challenges of 2020.
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