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January 2022 Pain BC Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
January 1, 2022 brought with it a ray of hope, when the World Health Organization officially adopted the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision (ICD-11). This revision recognizes chronic pain both as a health condition in its own right, as well as a secondary symptom of other conditions. The new classification offers improved diagnostic codes for chronic pain, which in the long term could provide people with pain wider access to pain treatments and enhanced insurance coverage for pain care.

Amid this heartening news, however, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to significantly impact our communities and reduce access to the health services people in pain rely on. I want to emphasize that you are not alone during this difficult time. Our virtual programs are still here to support British Columbians living with pain:

  • Our Pain Support Line provides connection to resources and a listening ear to talk about pain and its impacts. You can reach us by calling 1-844-880-PAIN Monday to Friday between 9:00AM and 4:00PM or filling out our self-referral form.
  • Participants in our Pain Support and Wellness Groups can share their experiences and discuss self-management skills. All our groups are online or via phone if you are unable to connect through the internet.
  • Our Coaching for Health program provides one-to-one, phone-based coaching and support. It requires a referral from a health care provider, which can be accessed by telehealth during COVID-19.

Additionally, we’ve been working on adapting our services to better meet the evolving needs of people living with pain during the ongoing pandemic. Two of these updates are taking effect shortly.

Firstly, our volunteer coaches will complete an enhanced training at the end of the month. This training has included an expanded emphasis on the health impacts of marginalization and socioeconomic status, particularly regarding medical system navigation, trauma-informed practice, equity-oriented health care, and self-compassion both for coaches themselves and for the people living with pain who they support.

We have also been developing an innovative online pain self-management program, launching in early 2022. This program will be free to access for everyone anywhere with an internet connection. It will build upon and expand the resources currently on our LivePlanBe platform, with a focus on learning about pain and improving well-being. Stay tuned to our social media channels and future newsletters for exciting updates about the launch of this program.

Pain BC is here to support you through this difficult time, and beyond. Please continue to reach out to us through our Pain Support Line, social media, or via email to let us know your concerns and needs. We are here for you.
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.
COVID-19 news and resources for people with pain
We're here to help

We've updated our collection of COVID-related news, information and resources for people with pain. The list includes virtual clinics, mental health supports, medication resources and more. This list will be updated as more resources become available and the needs of people with pain continue to evolve during this global health crisis. Please check back regularly.
Pain Waves logo
Winter self-care
New Pain Waves podcast episode

Winter often presents challenges for people living with pain. In this month’s episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we’re joined by Danielle Harrison, a registered social worker and the Pain Support Line Lead at Pain BC. She talks to us about how to stay connected to loved ones, set boundaries with friends and family, and how to manage seasonal depression.
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 free online videos 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
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
Survey for Indigenous families and youth with childhood rheumatic disease
Cassie + Friends is gathering data for BC government's new Anti-Racism Data Legislation

Cassie + Friends is looking to learn about your health care experience and ensure your voice is included in the BC government's new Anti-Racism Data Legislation. Your story will also help them better define existing gaps in BC health care services. The survey is open to Indigenous families residing in BC who have been affected by juvenile arthritis, lupus, fever syndromes, or other pediatric rheumatic diseases. To participate or learn more, please contact Emerald at
Screenshot from Beyond Stigma video. An animation of a person at the pharmacist
Beyond Stigma: Animated short
Exploring the impact of stigma on treatment for people living with opioid use disorder

Stigma impacts all aspects of treatment for people living with opioid use disorder. Created in collaboration with academics, clinicians and people with lived experience, this animated video from the Subject Matter Health Research Lab explores these impacts and how we can work together to move beyond stigma.
Research and engagement opportunities
CircaPain logo
Study: Pain throughout the day

If you live with pain, does it change throughout the day? The CircaPain research team is studying how time of day impacts pain and wants to hear about your experience. This study is open to all adults who have had persistent pain for more than three months. Learn more and take the survey on CircaPain's website:
Study: Tracking the parasympathetic nervous system and subjective state of well-being in chronic pain

The UBC Vision Lab is studying how parasympathetic activity tracked with a wearable sensor is related to emotional and physical wellbeing in chronic pain. You will be asked to wear a wrist sensor and respond to some questions for two months. If you are at least 18 years of age, a fluent English speaker, have chronic back pain and no heart disease, please contact Veronica Dudarev at to sign up.
Study: VR study for cancer-related chronic pain

The UBC School of Nursing and SFU School of Interactive Arts + Technology are looking for people with cancer who also experience chronic pain to test the use of immersive multimedia experiences as a form of pain management. Research participants can complete the study from their homes and will be provided with an honorarium for their time. More information on the study, including eligibility, can be accessed here. To apply, please contact Crystal Sun, Project Manager at
In the news
Chronic pain gains new recognition by WHO, but getting treatment remains an obstacle
This article features Pain BC’s Executive Director Maria Hudspith, who highlights the inadequate medical treatment for chronic pain in Canada and her hopes for improved care.
New year's resolutions with chronic illness
The author of this article shares their experience of living with a chronic illness and offers some of their kinder new year resolutions.
New online game designed to improve kids' vaccination experience
A University of Guelph psychologist has helped develop a new online game designed to give kids and their caregivers strategies to help manage pain, fear and anxiety about vaccination.
How to use pain scales to explain pain
The author shares the shortcomings of using pain scales and offers alternative ways to describe pain to physicians to improve their understanding.
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