Pain BC. Changing Pain. Changing Minds.
February 2017 Update
From Our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith

Our recent Provincial Pain Summit was a powerful weekend of sharing, action planning, and yes, even singing! I was struck by the power of having so many diverse stakeholders – people in pain, senior government officials, allied health care providers, partner organizations, and more – in the room together and humbled to hear so many stories of resilience and hope.
The Summit kicked off with a panel of lived experience experts - 5 people living with chronic pain - who shared their pain journeys with us. Pain BC co-founder Michael Negraeff, myself, and the audience had a chance to then share reflections, and this potent beginning set the tone for the rest of the Summit, including the emergence of #webelieveyou - a powerful, necessary message for those with chronic pain to hear. 
On Saturday, using creative methods to spark discussion, we mapped the current system of care through “living sculptures” - where volunteers represented the roles of different actors in the pain care system. We then came together to sing (risky and unconventional, we know, but what an impactful session lead by Vanessa Richards!), and then broke out into dynamic thematic discussion sessions with renewed energy.  
In some of the breakout discussions - like Primary Care - we saw an opportunity to build on the work of programs created out of our 2011 Summit, like the Practice Support Program for GPs. In others - like the Seniors and Vulnerable Populations sessions - we started to build new coalitions to improve pain management for older adults and people with addictions and mental health issues in BC. 
An exciting outcome was the development of action planning groups, who came together on the Sunday to make 10 commitments to work on developing:
  1. Better allied health care provider training
  2. A pain program at Vancouver Coastal Health
  3. Opioid/medication stewardship
  4. Billing codes for chronic pain 
  5. A strategy for public reframing of opioid use for addiction and pain
  6. A potential Provincial Pain Agency
  7. Self-management in all BC communities
  8. A unified approach to chronic pain education in primary care
  9. Trauma-informed care integrated into pain programs
  10. Early intervention, starting with a community-based model
You can see more of what went on over the Summit weekend via this Storify compilation of posts and catch up on live videos taken during the Summit on our Twitter and Facebook feeds. The Summit was also featured on CBC’s The National and other media.
I came away from the Summit with my assumptions challenged, my heart opened, and my dedication renewed. I witnessed tremendous passion among those present for improving the lives of people in pain in BC. We heard people stand and declare a commitment to action, including Health Minister Terry Lake's who committed to "laying the tracks" for a provincial pain strategy. We know we've got our work cut out for us, and Pain BC will keep tracking actions against commitments made.
Stay tuned to, our social channels, and the Live Plan Be forum, for more information on Summit outcomes, including a detailed report, coming soon!
New National Opioid Guidelines Released
Pain BC Concerned People in Pain Still Lack Effective System of Care 

The National Guidelines for use of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain were released at the end of January. They were developed by the National Pain Centre at McMaster University and funded by Health Canada. Pain BC is concerned that, like the CPSBC Standards and Guidelines relArticle Imageeased last year, these are being put in place without a system of care to support the transition away from opioids. 
Pain BC continues to express concern that the changes in opioid prescribing are being brought about too rapidly, without the system of care for chronic pain patients being put in place (e.g. publicly funded pain clinics, mentoring for family doctors). Our hope is that perhaps these guidelines will spur some investment in new programs and services for people with pain, particulary as a strong message that came out of our Provincial Pain Summit was a call for a national pain strategy.

The guidelines continue a trend towards prioritizing the reduction of harms related to opioids. While Pain BC recognizes the need to effectively manage the harms, we also want to ensure that people who need access to opioids for pain control can get them without being stigmatized. In our view, these guidelines do not state strongly enough the importance of ensuring access to opioids for those patients who need them. They focus too heavily on the broad issue of population-level harms without an equally weighted focus on individualized, patient-centred pain management. The reality is that some people will need opioids for pain control - sometimes at higher doses and for longer periods of time - than recommended by these guidelines.

The authors encourage public feedback and comments, but have stated that the guidelines are unlikely to change unless compelling evidence that the panel hadn't considered is presented. You can provide your feedback here:
Float House Co-Founder Mike Zaremba Talks Flotation Therapy, Pain Relief
Have you heard of Flotation Therapy? Curious about what it is and how it works? In the latest episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we chat to Mike Zaremba, the co-founder of local Flotation Therapy centre Float House, about how Flotation Therapy/Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST) works, the research around benefits for chronic pain management, common misconceptions around flotation, meditation, and more! 
Listen now on Spreaker, or download the episode on iTunes 
Free Workshops Focusing on Movement, Relaxation for Pain 
New 6-Week Series to Run in Ucluelet, Tofino & Ahousaht 
Pain BC is excited to be partnering with local health care providers on Vancouver Island to offer a free six-week series specifically designed for people with pain. Benefit from gentle movement, breathing, and relaxation exercises and learn how to move safely and with greater ease. To enroll, you must be referred by a doctor. 

You can request a referral to this class series if:

• You suffer from chronic pain
• You can walk—on your own, or with a support like a cane
• You can lie down on the ground and stand back up—on your own, or with a support like a chair
• You can stay balanced on two feet—on your own, or with a support like a walker

The workshop series will be run by a multi-disciplanary group of health care professionals, and run March 30 - May 4 in Tofino, Ucluelet, and Ahousaht. Learn more, including where to call for a referral, or register on our website
Live Plan Be  Connect for Health
Chronic Pain & Physical Activity: Research Participants Needed 
Study Investigates Beliefs Related to Exercise & Pain

Exercise & Chronic Pain StudyUniversity of Saskatchewan researchers are studying what people with chronic pain experience in their lives, including what beliefs might relate to their exercise levels, and are looking for particpants for a research study. You don't have to be exercising right now to participate.
If you're at least 18 years old, have had pain for at least
six months, and you've tried to exercise at least once since your pain started, then you can participate. Want to volunteer? It’s as easy as filling out 3 online surveys. After you do the first
survey, you may be emailed a link to do a second survey 2 weeks later. The surveys will ask you chronic pain-related questions and will also ask you about your recent exercise behavior.
Interested? Find out more hereIf you have any questions, please email Miranda Cary directly:
Don't Miss Out! Discounted Massage Therapy for Pain BC Supporters 
Special Offer from Langara's Massage Therapy Program

Massage Therapy
The Langara Massage Therapy Program Public Clinic in Vancouver is offering discounted student massage therapy appointments to Pain BC supporters. 

Appointments are offered on various days of the week with students in their second year providing treatment. Appointments will be set aside for people with pain for Wednesday afternoons with our Semester 5 students. All student treatment plans are reviewed and supported by registered massage therapists. The clinic is accessible by public transit and is wheelchair accessible, with elevator access. 
The discounted rate is $20 per 1-hour treatment (compared to a regular rate of $40). Please call 604 872-2471 to book an appointment. Make sure you mention "Pain BC 2017" when you're booking, to receive the discounted rate. It's also essential that you bring a doctor's note of approval for student massage therapy. You can find out more about the Langara Massage Therapy Program Clinic on their Facebook page. Please contact them directly with any questions. 
Save the Date for the Pain BC Annual General Meeting: 5 May 2017
Become a Pain BC Member, and You Have a Vote!
Register now for our Annual General Meeting, taking place on Friday 5 May from 3pm-4.30pm at the Creekside Community Recreation Centre. Hosted by the Pain BC Board of Directors, the AGM is your chance to learn more about what we do, hear about our plans for 2017 and beyond, and add your input. 

Everyone is welcome, but in order to vote, you'll need to be a 2017 Pain BC Member (even if you registered as a member late in 2016, you'll need to renew your membership for 2017 as membership runs in a calendar year). Membership allows you to have a voice in the governance of our organization and support Pain BC's important initiatives.

To ensure you can vote at the AGM:
  1. renew or register as a Pain BC member
  2. then register for the AGM
You'll receive a tax receipt for all membership contributions.

Remote participation will be available via webinar; please let us know when you register if you're planning on attending virtually. 
We'll be distributing meeting materials by email to registered participants before the AGM and have extra copies on hand at the AGM as well.
We look forward to having you with us!
CIRPD logo

Patricia Poulin, Ph.D., C.Psych.
​Dr. Poulin will discuss recent research on the role mindfulness can play in managing pain intensity, pain catastrophising, and depression for cancer survivors living with chronic neuropathic pain.
Register Now.
March 20, 2017 - 5:30pm PST, 8:30pm EST
Stephan Schug, MD
​Professor Schug will discuss current research on ways to predict when people may develop chronic pain after surgery, and he'll provide some preventative strategies.
Learn More 

April 5, 2017 - 11:00am PST, 2:00pm EST
Neil Pearson, PT
Neil Pearson discusses the difference that can happen when movement is viewed as a treatment intended to open the medicine cabinet inside.
Register Now

The Canadian Chronic Pain Research Network: Update and Future Plans
April 25, 2017 - 11:00am PST, 2:00pm EST
Norm Buckley, BA (Psych), MD, FRCPC - Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University
Dr. Buckley will discuss the purpose, objectives, and structure of the Canadian Chronic Pain Research Network, as well as discussing approved research and opportunities for participation with the Network.
Learn More

March 10, 2017 | Calgary, AB
The Alberta Medical Association and the Calgary Pain Education Foundation are collaborating to offer a conference to all health care providers. The conference content covers advances in pain research; prevention and management of acute and chronic spine, pelvis and hip musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions; and injuries and pain. Includes large and small group didactic lectures, hands-on workshops, and case-based discussions.

April 7-9 2017 - 7:30am to 4:30pm | Nanaimo, BC
Lead by Neil Pearson of Life is Now, this two-day workshop for all health care providers offers in-depth integration of pain science, innovative pain self-management techniques, yoga philosophy, and yoga practices.
May 5 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm | Vancouver
Our Annual General Meeting takes place at the Creekside Community Centre. All are welcome; but only 2017 Pain BC members can vote. Find out about membership here
May 6 2017 - 8:30am to 4:30pm | Victoria, BC
This is a one-day workshop for Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) who are interested in developing or enhancing sound clinical skills in the assessment and treatment of clients living with complex and persistent pain.
Register Now
In the News
In the News 
Health professionals and advocates at Pain BC's Provincial Pain Summit say a national pain strategy could balance the needs of those who live with chronic pain with the dangers of over-prescribing addictive opiates.
Misdiagnosed Foot and Ankle Injuries May Result in Arthritis and Chronic Pain
Physicians have been advised to err on the side of caution when diagnosing common foot and ankle injuries, or it may result in arthritis, chronic pain and disability, new research suggests.

The 7 Psychological Stages of Chronic Pain
"Have you ever wondered if other people with chronic health conditions feel the same way you do?
Throughout my years with chronic pain and illness, along with the hundreds of patients I have counseled, I have found that, while everyone copes in their own way and experiences their condition uniquely, there are common feelings that most of us share."

Poor and Less Educated Suffer the Most from Chronic Pain
Poorer and less-educated older Americans are more like to suffer from chronic pain than those with greater wealth and more education, but the disparity between the two groups is much greater than previously thought, according to new research.
“We want to challenge the way we think about pain; to deal with it before it starts.”

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