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Chronic Pain

Does your pain persist?

If your pain lasts three months or longer and affects your quality of life, you are not alone. One in five British Columbians lives with chronic pain.


The Pain Spiral

The pain spiral below shows how ongoing pain from injury,

surgery, or illness can have an impact on all areas of your life.

Understanding the pain spiral is the first step in breaking it.


Why does some pain last?



Once the body heals from injury, surgery, or illness, nerves may

still be engaged and excited; this can cause long-term chronic pain. There is no magic cure for this. Getting your pain under control might require several things including physical therapy, counselling, and possibly medications.



What works for one person may not work for someone else. Finding the tools that work best for you can take time, but it’s worth it. People who get involved in decisions about their health tend to feel and do better.


Why am I not getting the help I need?

Until recently, there has not been enough pain research or funding for it in Canada. Many doctors, nurses, and others working in health care don’t receive the training they need to assess and treat chronic pain well. This is starting to change.


Breaking the pain spiral

Breaking the pain spiral is not easy but with support,

you can do it. You can return to a life where you feel

better and can function once again.




Where to find help and advice 

Pain BC offers the following programs and tools to help you:


Pain Support Line

Call the Pain Support Line for free information, support and a listening ear to talk about your own pain or that of a family member or friend. We can help you by providing a safe space to talk about pain and its impact on your life, information on community resources including health care, social services and supports, income assistance, transportation, home health support, food, housing, and more.


Volunteers are available to take your calls from Monday to Friday 9 AM – 4 PM.

Toll-free: 1-844-880-PAIN (7246)




Live Plan Be

Live Plan Be is a free online self-management tool that supports you on your pain management journey:

• Learn about the science behind chronic pain

• Keep track of your symptoms and their impacts

• Develop a plan for better pain management and quality of life

• Connect with a like-minded community of others. Visit today to sign up and start managing your pain, your way.


Coaching for Health

Coaching for Health is a free telephone or video conference coaching program designed to help people living with pain learn self-management skills, regain function and improve their well-being.

Coaching for Health requires a referral from your doctor. Talk to your doctor to see if Coaching for Health is right for you.



MyCarePath is a free online resource for teens ages 12 - 17. When it comes to pain in kids and teens, early intervention is key. This site gives teens the right information so they can take action and be in charge of their own pain management plan. It was created in collaboration with BC Children’s Hospital and the UBC Department of Pediatrics.


Pain BC Toolbox

Many people living with chronic pain feel like giving up at some point. The Pain BC Toolbox offers pain management resources to help you cope. Download at


Online Community

Join us on Facebook and Twitter to connect with thousands of British Columbians who live with lasting pain and know what you’re going through.


Pain Waves

Pain Waves is a podcast where listeners can hear leading chronic pain experts and people in pain discuss the latest pain management research, tools, stories, and trends. Subscribe through iTunes or visit

(info and graphics taken from the pain BC leaflet)

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