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

From February 17-19, Pain BC will host the Provincial Pain Summit, with financial support from the Ministry of Health and WorkSafeBC. Are you:
  • a person living with pain who'd like to contribute to the discussion?
  • a clinician passionate about best practice approaches to chronic pain? 
  • a policy maker with responsibility for some aspect of improving the lives of people in pain in BC? 
  • a leader in an organization that cares about people living with pain, including seniors or vulnerable populations? 
This event follows the first Provincial Pain Summit, which was held in 2011. That event provided Pain BC and our many partners with recommendations for action. Since then, we've been working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health, Doctors of BC, health authorities, NGOs, and others to implement the priority actions. 
The Summit in February will focus on surfacing issues and developing solutions around five themes:  
  1. Primary Care: Increase the capacity of primary care providers to provide evidence-based pain assessment and management, including non-pharmacological approaches
  2. Vulnerable Populations: Enhance outcomes for people living with addictions, mental health issues and chronic pain
  3. Pharmacological Pain Management: Improving assessment, balancing harms and benefits and advancing appropriate pharmacological pain management for patients across the continuum of care
  4. Pain in Rural BC: Expand access to pain management (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) services in rural and remote parts of the province
  5. Seniors in Pain: Improve pain assessment and management (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) for seniors
The Summit will kick off on Friday night with the stories of people living with pain and a response panel that explores the implications of these lived experiences for programs and policy. Saturday will involve several interactive sessions - both large and small group - and result in priorities that will be taken forward into action planning by a smaller group of health system leaders on Sunday morning. 

There will be a comfort room, sponsored by PainPRO RMT clinics, available for people in pain who need to take a break. For those unable to attend, we'll be posting updates on our social media channels (including live Facebook videos); search for #BCPainSummit to stay a part of the conversation. Attending the summit? Download the Pain BC app for updates, the schedule, and more!
The Summit is a pivotal opportunity in the larger effort to transform how pain is understood and treated in our province. Please join us and bring your experience and knowledge to the process.
Article Series Tackles Continued Impact of Opioid Guidelines Changes
Highlighting the Consequences, Needs & Troubling Stories of People in Pain

In a series of recent articles in The Vancouver Sun, journalist Daphne Bramham has been putting the spotlight on the stories of those being directly impacted by the 2016 changes to the opioid prescribing guidelines. 
Article Image
In her first article, Bramham focuses on the current climate – both politically and socially – in which the opioid prescribing guidelines changes fit.  In her second article, Bramham talks about the far-reaching consquences of the fentanyl crisis on people in pain, and in her third piece, she tells the heartbreaking (and all too familiar) story of a senior who has been severely impacted by a change in his opioid prescription and is contemplating ending his life. 
Pain BC is continuing the conversation with policy makers, physicians, and those in pain; we will keep advancing changes that will make a positive difference for people in pain and those who care for them. These include:  
  • increased access to non-pharmacological treatment options for those living with pain
  • a fee code for doctors to have the appointment time to be able to properly assess and help those with pain 
  • support and information for people with pain through services like Pain BC's Connect for Health and Live Plan Be self-management tool
  • active planning with a variety of stakeholders at our upcoming Provincial Pain Summit
Pain BC is also ensuring people in pain's voices are heard by talking to the media about the impact on those with chronic pain, the climate of fear that has been created, and what needs to change. Along with featuring in one of Bramham's articles, our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith, recently appeared on The Early Edition with Rick Cluff on CBC Radio, as well as Global BC TV.  

Find more information on Pain BC's response to the prescribing guideline changes and further interviews and media coverage on our website
medical cannabis
New Report on Health Effects of Marijuana and Cannabis-Derived Products 
One of the Most Comprehensive Studies of Recent Research Released

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new, extensive report titled The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. The report - one of the most comprehensive studies to date - provides an extremely thorough review of scientific research published since 1999. The report looks at what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products (e.g., marijuana, cannabinoids), including the therapeutic effects as well as potential risks for causing certain types of cancer, diseases, mental health disorders, and injuries.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, more than 10,000 scientific abstracts were reviewed by the committee that carried out the study, and they present nearly 100 conclusions based on the research conducted. Part of the report also addresses potential "ways to expand and improve the quality of cannabis research efforts, enhance data collection efforts to support the advancement of research, and address the current barriers to cannabis research.”
Because this was a US-based report, there are some contextual considerations that don't necessarily apply in a Canadian setting. Two important take aways, however, are that:  
  • There is substantial evidence that medical cannabis is a useful treatment for chronic pain in adults. 
  • There is emerging evidence that people living with chronic pain who are getting cannabis from dispensaries have greatly reduced opioid consumption. 
You can read the full review of the report here
Do You Want to Add Yoga to Your Clinical Practice?
New Pain Care Yoga Workshop Available for All Health Professionals 
This workshop, lead by Neil Pearson, provides in-depth integration of pain science, innovative pain self-management techniques, yoga philosophy, and yoga practices. Participants will gain a solid foundation in pain science and in yoga philosophy related to pain and pain management.

Who Should Attend:
Health care professionals and yoga teachers interested in supporting clients living with chronic pain and integrating yoga for pain care into their clinical or therapeutic practice. No pre-requisites or yoga teaching background required; all health professionals are welcome! Learn how daily yoga practices and evidence-based pain science training combine to ready you as practitioners and expand your knowledge of pain self-management best practices.

Register before March 15 to ensure you get the Early Bird Registration price of $445. The regular registration price (after March 15) is $495. Lunch is provided.  

Completion of this workshop can be applied to a professional Life is Now Pain Care Yoga Certificate (21 of the required 50 continuing education hours), or as a re-requisite for the Life is Now Advanced Pain Care Yoga Certification. Visit for more details on credits. Pain BC will also add all participants to the Pain Champions Map on our website. For more information, contact

Event Sponsors: 
This event is co-sponsored by Pain BC, Life is Now, and Moksha Yoga Nanaimo.
Live Plan Be  Connect for Health
Langrara Offers 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. 
Research Participants Needed for Chronic Pain Study 
Immersive Multimedia Experiences for Cancer Pain Survivors with Chronic Pain

Immersive Multimedia StudyResearchers from SFU's School of Interactive Arts and Technology, and UBC's School of Nursing are looking for participants in a new research study. 

Immersive multimedia enables individuals to become immersed within computer generated worlds. The participant is able to be an active participant in this world. This technology has been shown to benefit individuals in a range of clinical settings including patients with acute burns pain. This may help reduce help chronic pain by changing the pain signals of the pain modulation system within the central nervous system by manipulating the descending pain signal pathways.
The researchers wish to investigate the potential use of immersive multimedia for cancer survivors who are suffering with residual unresolved chronic pain. In order to meet the eligibility criteria for this study, you will need to meet the following criteria:
  • Be a cancer survivor (previous diagnosis of cancer).
  • Chronic pain sufferer (suffering pain for 6 months or more).
  • Currently receiving analgesics for their primary therapeutic management of chronic pain.
  • A score of 4 or greater on the neuropathic rating pain scale (NRS) as identified in your initial telephone conversation with the researcher.
  • Able to understand the English language, and read and write English.
  • Able to easily move your head up, down, left and right and wear a headset.
  • Have fine motor control in one hand sufficient to operate a joystick/control.
  • Have space for the computer and monitor equipment.
If you'd like more information or would like to participate in the study, please contact the researchers directly: Crystal Sun, Project Manager: 604-822-7679 or, or Dr. Bernie Garrett, Principal investigator: 604 844 8773 or
CIRPD logo

January 24, 2017 - 11:00am PDT, 2:00pm EDT
Gillian Lauder, MB BCh, FRCA, FRCPC, CPE.
Dr. Lauder will discuss current research into some of the current factors that are changing the way pediatric pain is treated and discussed.
Register Now. 

January 31, 2017 - 11:00am PST, 2:00pm EST
Robert Gatchel, PhD
Dr. Gatchel will help us understand what fear-avoidance beliefs and behaviors are, how they affect people with chronic pain, and what tools and treatments can be used to help people with pain reduce those beliefs.
Register Now. 
February 9, 2017 - 11:00am PDT, 2:00pm EDT
Afton L. Hassett, Psy.D.
In this session, Dr. Hassett will explore ways that you can bring more positive activities and greater meaning back into your life.
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.

Missed a webinar? Catch up on the CIRPD website.
Feb 17 2017 - 6:30pm to Feb 19 2017 - 12:30pm
Pain BC will host a Provincial Pain Summit on February 17-19, 2017 in Vancouver, open to everyone. 
Feb 22 2017 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm | Ucluelet, BC
Find out about pain science, useful tools, local resources, and more in this free, relaxed, interactive talk.
Feb 23 2017 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm | Tofino, BC
Find out about pain science, useful tools, local resources, and more in this free, relaxed, interactive talk.
Feb 25 2017 - 7:30am to 4:30pm | Tofino, BC
This one-day workshop uses evidence based techniques to assist health practitioners working with people with persistent pain.
March 10, 2017 | Calgary, AB
The Alberta Medical Association (AMA) & the Calgary Pain Education Foundation are collaborating to offer a conference to all healthcare providers. Content covers advances in pain research and the prevention and management of acute and chronic spine, pelvis and hip musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, injuries and pain. The course will include large and small group didactic lectures, hands-on workshops, and case-based discussions.

April 7-9 2017 - 7:30am to 4:30pm | Nanaimo, BC
This two-day workshop provides in-depth integration of pain science, innovative pain self-management techniques, yoga philosophy, and yoga practices.
In the News
In the News 
2017 Health Talks Student Contest Winner's Thoughtful Essay on Chronic Pain
Jorri Gosse, a Gr 6 student from Yorkton Creek Middle School in Langley, BC, wrote a thoughtful, compassionate essay about the impact of chronic pain on thousands of British Columbians, including her father.

Why is Everyone Talking About Painkillers, But Not About Pain?
Prescription painkiller abuse, addiction and death are hot topics these days. Law enforcement, government and physicians have met to try to figure out how to stop the epidemic caused by the misuse of strong prescription painkillers that have become a lethal black-market commodity.
The talk is about painkiller abuse. Why isn’t anyone talking about pain?

Scientists Use Lasers to Look At Why So Many People Suffer from Chronic Pain
Lasers and a light-sensitive protein from algae are helping scientists at the University of Calgary unlock the reasons why about a third of Albertans suffer from chronic, often life-altering pain.

Few Pain Patients Become Long-Term Opioid Users
Less than two percent of patients with prescriptions for opioid pain medication become long-term opioid users, according to a large new study published online in the journal Pain.

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