Chronic pain can be overwhelming. Caring for someone else while you are in pain adds an extra layer of complexity. Managing care duties while living with pain can be difficult for several reasons including fatigue, managing multiple medical appointments, physical limitations, and stress. Caregivers living with invisible pain may also find it challenging to manage expectations that their loved ones may have of them.
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Caregiving While Living with Pain
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Chronic Pain and Indigenous Peoples
Indigenous populations experience chronic pain at disproportionate rates in comparison to their non-Indigenous counterparts. However, Indigenous populations are often less likely to obtain and receive care and support for their experiences of pain. This fact sheet includes resources for Indigenous peoples living with pain related to health care, mental health, housing, and more.
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Communication with Health Care Providers
Living with chronic pain can often involve meeting with a number of health care providers. It can be useful to know how to communicate effectively with health care providers to ensure you’re getting the best care possible. Here are some strategies that can help.
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Complementary therapies can help with managing pain. These therapies often work by changing how you pay attention to your pain, releasing muscle tension caused by pain and encouraging overall relaxation.
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Finding a Mental Health Counsellor
Experiences of anxiety and/or depression can cause increased intensity of pain, and flare-ups of pain often impact well-being. As well, people living with pain often deal with profound loss and unwanted changes in their lives and may experience these effects in a variety of ways including grief, anger and isolation.
Using self-help materials, receiving support from friends and family, or joining a local support group can help you develop coping skills. However, sometimes we need extra help. Working with a counsellor may give you the additional guidance you need to manage the emotional and psychological impacts of living with pain.
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Finding a Physiotherapist
Physiotherapists help people living with conditions such as chronic pain improve their quality of life, improve physical functioning and support their recovery. A physiotherapist is a health care professional who works from a patient-centered approach and uses knowledge of anatomy, kinesiology and physiology to assess, treat and manage pain, injuries, movement dysfunction and chronic conditions.
These resources may be helpful in finding a physiotherapist near you.
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Flare-ups are periods of increased pain often experienced by people who live with ongoing chronic pain. Sometimes it’s hard to know what triggers a flare-up, especially because there are usually a number of factors involved. Flare-ups usually happen when either our pain increases or there are changes in how well we are dealing with pain.
Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)
Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is a health care service that provides people who are experiencing intolerable suffering due to a grievous and incurable medical condition the option to end their life with the assistance of a doctor or nurse practitioner. This only occurs at the individual’s request. This fact sheet includes information about MAiD.
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There is a lot of misinformation about prescription medication, so it’s not surprising half of all people with prescriptions in Canada don’t take them properly. This can lead to treatment failures. Our fact sheet covers the basics of medication and how to make the most of it.
Pain BC Advocacy on Access to Opioid Pain Medications
Over the past several years, the rules for prescribing opioid medications in BC have changed. This resource describes why prescribing practices have changed in BC, what Pain BC is doing about it, and what to do if your opioid medications are being decreased without your consent and if the decrease is having a negative effect on your quality of life.
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Psychosocial Community Resources
As you know, chronic pain is much more than just an uncomfortable feeling. Living with pain affects our bodies, our thoughts, our emotions, and how we relate to other people and the world around us.
Community resources are available to support you. Helping to manage your stress, mental health, physical health, sleep and practical needs can provide some relief when living with pain. The following free resources may provide you with some support as part of your pain journey.
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Stigma is when someone is judged or experiences discrimination over something that distinguishes them from others – things like culture, gender, race, socioeconomic status, health, and more. People with chronic pain experience stigma from people in in their lives including family, friends, co-workers and perhaps most challengingly, health care providers.
Youth Who Live with Pain
If you are a youth who lives with pain, you may feel unsure of where or who to turn to for help. Your experience with pain can have physical, psychological, and financial effects. Here are some things you can do and resources you can explore.