Pain Foundations for Allied Health Providers

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About 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.

Allied health care providers will learn to:

  • Identify and recognize the underlying symptoms of acute and chronic pain from a biopsychosocial perspective
  • Use tools to monitor the biopsychosocial impact of pain on patients and to assess their pain management plans
  • Implement non-pharmacological strategies to create holistic and individualized treatment plans for people living with pain
  • Empower patients to self-manage pain

Why you should take this course

  • Clinically relevant: Non-pharmacological approaches to managing chronic pain are more important than ever. Developed in consultation with clinical experts and people living with pain, Pain Foundations will enable you to gain foundational knowledge in chronic pain and pain management and serves as a basis for more advanced learning.
  • Brought to you by Canada’s pain experts: Pain Foundations was developed by Pain BC, a national and international leader in chronic pain. We offer Pain BC Certification, a stamp of quality recognized around the world.
  • Online, compact and self-paced: Learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your home or office, with minimal time from your practice, family and life.


  • Self-reporting learners: Upon completion of this course, learners will receive a certificate they can submit to their college/licensing body to apply for up to 12 hours of continuing professional development (CPD).
  • For registered massage therapists (RMTs) in BC: This course has been approved for 2 PD Continuing Education Credits in Cycle 12 by the College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia. Learners will receive a course completion certificate upon graduating which registered RMTs in BC can submit to the college for credit before October 31, 2021.

Course outline

  1. Person in pain: A lived experience perspective
    1. How pain affects the person
    2. Emotion, social well-being, and pain
    3. Trauma, stress, and cognition
    4. Spirituality and beliefs
    5. Environmental and cultural factors affecting the person
  2. Pain physiology
    1. Introduction
    2. Acute vs. chronic
    3. The role of the autonomic nervous system in the experience of pain
    4. The brain and pain
    5. Pain types and classifications
    6. Physical pain stories
  3. Biopsychosocial pain assessment in clinical settings
    1. Biopsychosocial pain assessment
    2. Comprehensive pain and medical history
    3. Standardized assessment tools
    4. Using assessment tools in practice
  4. Collaborative pain care: A team-based approach
    1. Introduction to treatment options
    2. Non-pharmacological management
    3. Medical interventions
    4. Pharmacological treatment options
  5. Self-management and patient support
    1. Self-management
    2. Self-management strategies


Contributors and reviewers: Terri Aldred, MD; Terri Betts, BSc (Pharm), ACPR; Wesley Buch, PhD R.Psych; Donna Buna, BSc Pharm, PharmC; Michael Butterfield, MD; May Caprio, PhD, R.Psych; Sarah Derman, RN; Ada Glustein, MA (Ed); Bruce Hobson, MD; Najam Mian, MD; Janice Muir, CNS; Neil Pearson, PT, MSC (RHBS), BA-BPHE, C-IAYT, ERYT500; Brenda Poulton, MN, RN, NP(A); Arun Radhakrishnan, MD; Lindsey Rite, BSc (Kin), DC, CSEP-CEP; Cameron Ross, MD; Susan Reid-Schellinck, BSc (OT); Pamela Squire, MD; Shirley Sze, MD; Davidicus Wong, MD.

Event Sponsors

Funding for this course is provided by the Government of British Columbia.