Pain BC. Changing Pain. Changing Minds.
November 2017 Update
From Our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith 
The first week of November is National Pain Awareness Week (NPAW) in Canada. Pain BC, and many of our partners, have been working to bring pain out of the shadows. What difference does awareness make? 
Helping people understand chronic pain and the impact it has can: 
  • reduce stigma and foster a change in attitudes
  • help others living with pain; sometimes, the courage of one reduces feelings of isolation in others
  • change the practice of health care providers who may not have learned about chronic pain during their training
  • get the attention of government who can then direct resources to building a system of care that works for people in pain
Pain BC's efforts reflect our belief in change-making at all levels: personal transformation for individuals, interpersonal shifts (between a person in pain and a health care provider, for example), collective change in communities and systemic change that has a broad impact on everyone. 
Everyone has a role to play in "changing pain and changing minds." It doesn't have to be overwhelming. What can you do to participate? 
Talk to your loved ones, friends and colleagues about pain: We have brochures, information for family and friends, and all kinds of resources to help people learn about pain
Join our #LivingWithPain campaign on social media: Our "clothespin" experiment is based on a training technique we use with health care providers. During a workshop, we have participants put a clothespin on their earlobe to experience a mild amount of pain for a short period of time. This isn't the same as living with chronic pain but it helps people to reflect: What if I couldn't make this stop? I'm so annoyed after 5 minutes - what would it be like to live with this all the time? I'm really distracted by this clothespin and can't concentrate - how do people function when they live with pain? Clip on a clothespin and share your picture and story with us by using the hashtag #LivingWithPain.
Tell your elected officials that pain matters: Governments and health authorities are starting to wake up to the issue of chronic pain, recognizing that it has a huge impact on people and the health care system. Talk to your MLA or MP about your own experience and use our resources to inform your discussion. 
We've seen pain start to emerge from the shadows; during NPAW, help us bring it into the light! 
Live Plan Be  Connect for Health
Volunteers Needed! 
Pain BC is recruiting for volunteers for its Connect for Health and Coaching for Health programs
We're currently recruiting volunteers for our Connect for Health and Coaching for Health programs. As a trained volunteer, you'll have a direct impact on the lives of people in pain.
Coaching for Health is a NEW telephone or video conference lay coaching program designed to help people living with pain learn self-management skills, regain function and improve their well-being. As a volunteer, you will be trained in highly specialized coaching techniques that use transformative dialogue to empower people to change unhelpful health-related behaviours, and establish and sustain helpful ones.
Training for Coaching for Health begins in mid-November. Apply soon!
For more information and to fill out a volunteer application, please visit our volunteer web page.
Are you a family physician in BC? 
Survey closes November 30, 2017
Take part in a University of British Columbia 10-minute confidential on-line survey and let us know how the CPSBC Standards and Guidelines on Prescribing of Drugs with Potential for Misuse/Diversion have impacted pain management in your practice.
The study cannot identify you so your answers and comments are confidential. This survey will also help Pain BC plan education useful to you and identify resource needs in communities.
Results will be available on the Pain BC website when the study is complete.
Self-Care for Caregivers of People in Pain with Wendy Johnstone 
Chronic pain hurts everyone, including the family caregivers who provide support to people in pain.
The Pain Waves podcast talked to Wendy Johnstone from Family Caregivers of British Columbia about how caregivers can find the support and resources they need to take care of themselves and the people in pain that they love.

Listen now
Chronic Pain Management for Registered Massage Therapists 
RMT workshop coming to Victoria and Vancouver
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In partnership with RMTBC, this workshop for registered massage therapists provides an opportunity to learn how modifications of traditional massage therapy practices can increase success and improve outcomes for people in pain.
The workshop aims to improve your confidence and decrease your stress when working with the challenges of persistent pain.  We will thoroughly discuss the science of pain and ways to incorporate effective therapeutic pain management approaches into daily practice. The course will challenge misconceptions about pain as we learn the basics of incorporating a biopsychosocial framework into daily practice behaviour.
Jan 20 2018 - Victoria Register Now
Mar 11 2018 - Vancouver Register Now 
What is Occupational Therapy? 
How you occupy your time – your daily occupations – can be challenged if injury, illness, disability, social or environmental factors restrict your participation. Occupational therapists (OTs) can design a plan to help prevent or overcome the barriers that you may face, getting you back to enjoying your life.
OTs work in a variety of places, such as schools, hospitals, workplaces, homes and in the community. They are regulated health professionals who collaborate with people through the assessment, design and implementation phases to deliver personalized care.
OTs improve the health and well-being of people by creating client-centred solutions that help them participate more fully in activities that are important to their everyday lives. Whether working in homes, communities, hospitals, workplaces or schools,
OTs are valued members of health teams as their interventions improve lives and save money. OTs work with patients in a range of settings with a wide variety of physical, mental and cognitive conditions that are chronic or episodic in nature. By considering the individual, in his or her environment, determining the necessary competencies and skills set to “manage” the business of “daily functioning and living” OTs are able to unleash individuals' potential so that they can participate and thrive in daily life.
Occupational therapy services are often covered by insurance (ICBC, WorkSafeBC, extended medical).
Learn more about accessing occupational therapy in BC.  To find an occupational therapist in your community, contact
Best Practice Pain Management for Occupational Therapists 
February 23, 2018 in Vancouver
Pain BC is holding an advanced clinical workshop is for Occupational Therapists interested in developing or enhancing sound clinical skills in the assessment and treatment of clients living with complex and chronic pain.
Nov 29, 2017 - 11:00 am PDT
Dr. Wesley Buch discusses the emotional issues surrounding those suffering from chronic pain, and what to do.​​
Jan 25, 2018 - 11:00 am PDT
More details and learning objectives coming soon.
Feb 27, 2018 - 11:00 am PDT
Treatment of chronic pain requires “multimodal analgesia,” a management plan that often requires pharmacological as well as nondrug therapies, and very importantly large measures of clinician guided patient self-management.
March 8, 2018 - 11:00 am PDT
Assisting workers in achieving a safe and sustainable return to work after illness or injury has always ​been an appropriate goal of treatment. However, North American workplaces are increasingly challenged with how to address prescription and over-the-counter medication use by employees.
Pain BC is a program partner for the Chronic Pain Webinar Series hosted by the Work Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute. 
Nov 9 2017 - 12pm
This webinar will share proven strategies for successful patient education about chronic pain, even in the shortest visits, in any clinical setting. 
These upcoming yoga workshops are for for health professionals, yoga teachers and people living with pain  and are taught by Neil Pearson, PT, MSc, BA-BPHE, C-IAYT, ERYT500.
Jan 31 2018 - 12pm
Webinar details and description coming soon. Register now to reserve your spot!
Pain BC programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Government of British Columbia.
In the News
In the News 
Almost half of older homeless adults are believed to suffer from longstanding chronic pain, according to research reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.
Two new studies, one published last month and another slated for publication in early 2018, confirm through brain imaging and other techniques, that pain that persists long after the physical injury that originally caused the pain has healed, is a type of learned behavior that can be “unlearned” through a variety of non-medical interventions.
A new study published in The Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain suggests that a treatment called EAET, or Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy, can help people with chronic pain.
Some doctors and patients are turning to neuromodulation, a therapy that uses a medical device to treat pain, as an alternative to opioids.
A Western Sydney University study has found that pain is experienced differently between cultures – and traditional treatment methods for chronic pain may not be effective for people from cultural and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

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