April 2021 Pain BC Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
Between the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing media coverage of racial injustice, growing income inequality, and the continuing overdose crisis, the past year has laid bare significant inequities in Canada’s health care systems. People in Canada who live with chronic pain know the condition is often misunderstood and poorly managed. For people who experience discrimination and marginalization, there are additional barriers to support.
That’s why we have been working with researchers from the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria to learn ways to build trust and improve care for people living with chronic pain who also experience social marginalization.
Most recently, our work was published in the International Journal for Equity in Health. The journal article makes the case for equity-oriented responses to chronic pain that recognize it not only as a medical issue but as a social justice issue. Next month, Dr. Cindy Holmes will present on our work with LGBTQ2S people living with pain as part of a speaker series held by the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity. Registration for the May 20th online presentation is free and I encourage all who are interested to attend.
In addition to advocating for system change for people with pain who experience discrimination, we’re continuing to examine and improve our own programs and services. Most recently, we have been developing training on diversity, equity and inclusion to support Pain BC staff and volunteers to deepen their understanding of systemic oppression, inclusive language, and reducing barriers to equitable health services. 
We’re also building an online chronic pain self-management course designed on the principles of inclusion and equity. Informed by an advisory group of people with pain, including those who identify as Indigenous, LGBTQ2S, or as a newcomer or refugee, the course is will launch later this year.
Improving care for people with pain who experience marginalization is a continuing process and it requires the commitment of many dedicated partners with a goal of health equity. I look forward to learning - with you and from you - as we continue our shared work to improve care for all people with pain.  
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.
Opportunities to join the Pain BC team

We're excited to share we're currently looking for three individuals to join our growing team. Please read below for the available positions. If you or anyone you know may be interested, we encourage you to apply or share.

Director, Education

We're looking for a full-time Director of Education who has experience in designing and delivering digital and in-person learning programs that build capacity among health care providers.
Social Worker

We're looking for a full-time social worker or counsellor who can provide programmatic support to Pain BC's Support Services programs for people living with pain.
The role of yoga therapy in an integrative pain management plan
New Pain Waves podcast episode

In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by two guests to learn more about the benefits of yoga therapy for managing chronic pain. Neil Pearson, Physiotherapist, Yoga Therapist and UBC Clinical Assistant Professor, talks about the recent paper he co-authored summarizing the current research on the value of yoga therapy in a comprehensive integrative pain management plan, and he talks about the areas of research that still need to be investigated further. Gail Goodjohn, a person living with pain, also joins us to share how yoga therapy has personally helped her manage pain and its many impacts on daily life.
Share your feedback: Pain BC's Find Help Near You database

Pain BC is re-designing its publicly accessible "Find Help Near You" database, an online tool that allows people with pain to find health care providers who specialize in pain care and other pain-related programs and services in their region. The new-and-improved database will allow users to refine their search by location, health care provider discipline (e.g., pain specialist, physiotherapist etc.), and/or type of resource (e.g., support group, class series, etc.).

We would greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on the database through this short survey. Your feedback will help us build a database that best meets the needs of people living with pain in BC.

Funding for this project was provided by the Shared Care Committee (SCC), one of the Joint Collaborative Committees (JCC) of Doctors of BC and the BC Government.
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 Pain Support Line staff to talk about your pain, find information on community resources, learn about pain and self-management, 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.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
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 (SOLD OUT)
  • 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
Let's talk about my migraine: Virtual learning session available by donation
May 14, 2021

The Pain Society of Alberta and Migraine Canada are co-hosting a virtual learning session on May 14, 2021 to discuss migraine and share new pain management strategies, treatments and tools. Registration is available by donation, with a free ticket option available for those who are unable to donate.
Pain Society of Alberta 15th Annual Conference
October 15-17, 2021

The Pain Society of Alberta is hosting its annual conference virtually on October 15-17, 2021. Registration costs range from $49.00 to $99.00 for health care providers, while people living with pain and medical students are invited to attend for free.
Research and engagement opportunities
Opportunity to participate: Exploring the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian injured workers
Share your experience by May 7, 2021

The Canadian Injured Worker's Alliance is seeking Canadians who have sustained a workplace injury to take part in a survey to better understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on injured workers. The results of the survey will generate knowledge to create action plans to support Canadians injured in the workplace. The survey is available until May 7, 2021.
Opportunity to participate: Patient perspectives of chronic pain and associated treatments

Researchers from the University of Glasgow are looking for people living with chronic pain to share their experiences on being diagnosed, accessing treatments, and living with pain day to day.
Research study for children between 6 months and 18-years old with pain
Researchers are seeking children between 6 months and 18-years old with neurological problems, who cannot communicate verbally about their pain and have unexplained pain, to participate in a patient-oriented research study. Anyone interested is encouraged to learn more at the link below.
In the news
The face and realities of those living on disability assistance
A Vancouver Island-based illustrator named Roz MacLean has been creating colourful digital portraits of British Columbians who receive disability income assistance with a goal of drawing attention to how current assistance rates are inadequate for many.
Taryn Goodwin is building a community of disabled and neurodivergent artists
This article highlights how a student at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design was able to use her experiences to serve as a consultant to other universities on creating inclusive disability cultures in academia.
To disclose or not to disclose your condition —It’s your question to answer
A person living with chronic pain shares some personal insight on disclosing the details of a disability with others - whether it be an employer, coworkers, friends or on social media.
Pandemic changes that have (and haven't) helped the disability community
The author of this article shares perspective on changes arisen from the pandemic that have - and haven't - helped people living with pain and disability.
How food triggers the pain of irritable bowel syndrome
This RELIEF article provides an overview of a new study that is investigating how food can trigger the pain experienced by people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Will the COVID-19 pandemic be followed by a "pain pandemic?"
This RELIEF article summarizes the discussion in a recent editorial on managing chronic pain among those experiencing and recovering from the long-term effects of COVID-19.
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