Pain BC. Changing Pain. Changing Minds.
August 2018 Update
The other day over coffee in my neighbourhood, someone asked if I thought chronic pain awareness had "reached the tipping point." For those unfamiliar with the concept of the "tipping point", it comes from an influential book by author Malcolm Gladwell. In this book, Gladwell tries to makes sense of big changes in society, noting that "ideas and products and messages and behaviours spread like viruses do." Has awareness of chronic pain reached what Gladwell describes as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point?’ 
Certainly, things have changed since Pain BC was created ten years ago. In those early years, our efforts were focused on validating the lived experience of people in pain, building a network of allies, and getting pain on the map. We needed people to understand that pain is real, and that we need to take action collectively to address it. 
Fast forward to 2018, and:
  • Pain BC supports thousands of people in pain, their families and health care providers through our various programs and services
  • Media coverage on pain has increased nearly 80% this year alone
  • Pain is now recognized as a medical specialty in Canada and the first BC-trained pain specialist has graduated
  • Various groups are working towards pain strategies and initiatives; one example is the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, who are focusing their annual forum on the need for a national pain strategy. 
  • and the list goes on...
The tipping point is dependent on getting the majority of people on board with a particular issue. Pain BC has been bringing a wide range of people into our cause. 1 in 5 British Columbians live with chronic pain.  We know our mission affects everyone. 
Has the tipping point been reached? I don't think so, but we're getting close. There's certainly more to do: more solutions to be found, more stories to be told, more people to engage, more money to be raised for our efforts. Let's celebrate our upcoming ten year anniversary by reaching the tipping point!
Live Plan Be  Connect for Health
In the Spotlight: Trauma and Violence Informed Care (TVIC) Working Group 
People who have experienced trauma need to feel physically and emotionally safe whenever they receive health care. The injury or illness that led to their persistent pain, the experience of living with chronic pain, and even the challenges of accessing treatment can be traumatizing for some people in pain. Additionally, some people may have experienced previous trauma, be it living in unsafe relationships or experiencing the effects of poverty, racism or other stressors. Trauma and violence informed care (TVIC) refers to education and tools that assist health professionals in understanding how trauma can affect health and behavior. Health care providers learn how to help clients feel safe and build trust in care settings. TVIC aims to improve the patient’s experience in receiving care, which will lead to better health outcomes. 
There are 15 members on the Beyond the Summit TVIC Working Group, including representatives from pain management programs, regional health authorities, the post-secondary sector and individuals living with pain. This group is currently working on two key initiatives:
Trauma & Violence Informed Chronic Pain Care: A Tool for Health Care Providers: The goal of this project is to create a TVIC education sheet for health care providers working with clients who have chronic pain. This will be based on the EQUIP Health Care toolkit. The TVIC chronic pain care tool for health care providers will be completed by early fall. It will be available through Pain BC’s website, Pain BC’s Pain Foundations course for health care providers, EQUIP Health Care and other health agencies. The education sheet will also be distributed to all Beyond the Summit Working Group members and through targeted communication with health care providers.
Low-barrier Self-management Pilot Project: The goal of this project is to test an 8-week in-person program for people living with chronic pain in marginalize conditions. “Low-barrier” implies that the program should be easy to access, i.e. easy to qualify to enroll, no or low cost, easily accessible, and be held in a welcoming, safe and non-judgmental space. “Self-management” refers to the knowledge, skills and confidence people in pain need to successfully manage their health. The TVIC lens is being applied to an existing self-management program for people living with chronic pain and expect to launch the pilot program this fall. The ultimate goal is to refine the program’s content to ensure it is not only accessible, but also culturally safe. The long term goal is to train facilitators across the province with the TVIC lens in mind, in order for the low-barrier self-management program to be offered in in the many communities across the province who would benefit from it.
With these two initiatives underway, the TVIC working group aims to help improve upon the patient experience and consequent health outcomes for those who live with trauma. Stay tuned!
Chronic Pain Management for Chiropractors 
Workshop available in Vancouver
This workshop is intended for chiropractors or chiropractic students interested in developing or enhancing sound clinical skills in the assessment and treatment of people living with complex and chronic pain. This innovative evidence-based session will explore the best practices of biopsychosocial chronic pain management in the context of real clinical case studies. 
Sep 29-30, 2018 - Vancouver: Register now
Researching What Matters to Improve Chronic Pain Care in Canada 
Journal article and results available
The James Lind Alliance (JLA) has developed a process known as priority-setting partnership,through which clinicians and patients work together to identify important research priorities for the treatment of conditions not well understood or managed. This process has already been successfully applied to a variety of other illnesses, including fibromyalgia.
JLA has now used this process to identify chronic pain research priorities in Canada, primarily from the perspective of people in pain and their caregivers, along with input from health professionals, researchers and policy makers. Together, these stakeholders were able to identify 4 themes of importance with regards to improving chronic pain care across Canada:
  • Improving knowledge and competencies in chronic pain
  • Preventing chronic pain and reducing associated symptoms
  • Patient-centered treatment of chronic pain
  • Improving access to and coordination of patient-centered chronic pain care
Aug 9, 2018 - 11:00 am PT
This webinar will explore evidence from 56 systematic reviews on factors influencing return-to-work outcomes across health conditions.
Aug 15, 2018 - 11:00 am PT
More details coming soon.
Sep 6, 2018 - 11:00 am PT
More details coming soon.
Sep 26, 2018 - 11:00 am PT
This webinar explores the impacts of cancer on the employability of individuals in the workplace.
Pain BC is a program partner for the Chronic Pain Webinar Series hosted by the Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute. 
This workshop is intended for chiropractors or students of chiropractic interested in developing or enhancing sound clinical skills in the assessment and treatment of people living with complex and chronic pain.
Sept 29-30, 2018 - Vancouver Register now
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.
Sept 30, 2018 - Kelowna Register now
Oct 14, 2018 - Vancouver Register now
Pain BC programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Government of British Columbia.
In the News
In the News 
This opinion piece challenges the effectiveness of Health Canada's Notice of Intent to Restrict the Marketing and Advertising of Opioids, noting that the vast majority of overdoses remain largely attributed to illicit fentanyl and not prescription opioids.
A husband shares a story about the trauma endured by his wife during a trip to the emergency department, using statistics to showcase how her pain was minimized despite being an emergency situation.
New research indicates that anticonvulsants (e.g. gabapentinoids) have been increasingly prescribed to people with low back pain as an alternative to opioids, despite this specific application not having been approved nor proven effective.
A recent study reports that there is no strong evidence to suggest that cannabis use reduces the severity of the actual pain experienced among those living with chronic non-cancer pain. 

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