As with any chronic disease, forming a partnership with your health care providers improves your ability to manage symptoms. Often several care providers will work with you as a team.
Dealing effectively with chronic pain involves a variety of approaches. In these pages (see links at right)), you can find details on many related topics:
This information and advice was developed by the team at the Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network Pain Management Program and Alberta Health Services. It comes from the same professionals you might find in your health care team. Pharmacists, physiotherapists, kinesiologists, occupational therapists, nurses, doctors (generalists and specialists), mental health experts, behavioural therapists, and dietitians all contributed tools to support self care.
Although a cure for chronic pain is yet to be found, much can be done to help you live successfully with this condition.
Many people experience chronic pain. Reports from 2002 and 2010 suggest as many one in five Canadians suffer from it. Children are not spared, although the chances of having chronic pain increases with aging. Now, we know that early intervention is the key to successfully managing this condition.
In 2009, the Calgary Foothills Primary Care Network and the Alberta Health Services Chronic Pain Centre opened a pain management program for those living with chronic pain. Specialists in different areas work together with family physicians to help chronic pain patients.
This program focuses on self-management techniques. Patients learn to take charge of their treatment in various ways, including attending education sessions, goal setting, and exercising as prescribed.
The Calgary Foothills Pain Management Program has a team of experts in various fields related to chronic pain:
This program is considered an extension of family physician care. The group works closely with the centralized chronic pain centre in Calgary and are supported by various experts.
If you are living with chronic pain, your treatment should focus on managing all of the different aspects of the condition. Working with different health care providers is recommended.
Numerous pain management clinics exist in Canada. To be connected to a program in your area, you need a referral from your family doctor. You can find a list of clinics on the Canadian Pain Coalition website:
prc.canadianpaincoalition.ca/en/ (Click on 'Accessing Chronic Pain Care').
For more information on the Calgary Foothills Pain Management program and the Chronic Pain Centre, please visit the following sites:
www.albertahealthservices.ca (Search for 'chronic pain')
Canadian Pain Society:
Chronic Pain Association of Canada:
International Association for the Study of Pain: