Living with persistent pain can be discouraging. It’s easy to feel defeated. There is hope. Research shows that getting involved in managing your pain can have a big impact on your quality of life. Self management refers to the skills and behaviours that can help you live well with your chronic condition. Self management doesn’t replace physical therapies, medication and psychological support, but it’s a big part of feeling better.
"Pain self management is about learning new (or using old) skills, trying them out and see what works for you. Pain is like a fingerprint, so each person may need to have individual skills to suit him or her. Acceptance is not about giving up but recognizing that this is your pain to manage and you need to take more control. Acceptance is also a bit like opening a door – a door that will open to allow you in to lots of self-managing opportunities. The key that you need to open this door is not as large as you think. All you have to do is to be willing to use it and try and do things differently."
– Pete Moore, Pain Patient Advocate and Co-Author of the Pain Toolkit
There are many ways to self manage your pain. Explore different options to find out what works best for you. Perhaps you enjoy reading helpful articles and applying what you learn in your own life. Maybe you prefer joining an in-person support group. Whatever you need, Pain BC offers a variety of resources on this website that teach you how to best manage your pain.
Live Plan Be
Live Plan Be (www.liveplanbe.ca) is a free online self-management tool for people living with chronic pain. The name is a play on the concept of "Plan B" — the alternative we turn to when life doesn't turn out as planned. It was created by Pain BC in partnership with people living with pain and healthcare providers. Live Plan be is funded by the BC Ministry of Health.
Live Plan Be is a customizable self-paced program designed to support you in managing your pain, navigating the healthcare system and moving forward with your life. It is safe, free, and open to anyone.
- 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 who live with pain.
Wherever you are on your journey with pain, Live Plan Be offers you the right information and the most effective tools so you can manage your pain in the best possible way.
Pain BC's Pain Waves Podcast
On the Pain Waves podcast, we discuss the latest in pain management tools, trends, stories, and research with a variety of experts, including pharmacists, pain doctors, and physiotherapists, as well as people in pain. You can browse past episodes here.
Pain BC Toolbox
Feeling overwhelmed? We worked with a group of pain experts to create the Pain BC Toolbox. It’s a resource to get you started on managing your pain. Pain often gets in the way of our hopes and dreams, but it doesn’t have to. If pain has made you feel broken and lost, we can help you get your life back. Don’t give up! We can all make changes when we try things ONE SMALL BIT AT A TIME.
Apps to Manage Pain
Check out this cool list of apps (most free).
What works for stubborn aches, pains, and injuries? What doesn’t? Why? PainScience.com reviews your treatment options and the nature of the beast: hundreds of self-help articles, plus several big tutorials about common musculoskeletal pain problems, routinely updated, and readable enough for anyone but heavily referenced for professionals.
In-Person Self-Management Programs
Self-management programs are offered at no cost in communities throughout British Columbia.
Self-Management BC provides information and workshops on self-management for both the general public and health professionals. Anyone with a chronic health condition, as well as family members, can participate in workshops running in communities throughout BC at no cost. These are evidence-based programs which provide information, teach practical skills, and give people the confidence to manage their health condition(s).
The Chronic Pain Self-Management Program: The Chronic Pain Self-Management Program is a 6-week workshop that will help you better manage your symptoms and day-to-day life. The workshop provides information and teaches practical skills. It can help you rebuild the confidence and motivation you need to manage the challenges of living with chronic pain. Find a workshop in your area today.
What does it cost to attend?
It is FREE, and participants receive the Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions course book, the Chronic Pain Workbook, and the Moving Easy Program CD. All participants must pre-register. We suggest participants attend all 6 sessions if possible.
What happens in the workshop?
The program is peer-led, meaning the workshops are provided by trained volunteers who have personal experience living with chronic pain. Workshop groups meet once a week for 2½ hours, over 6 weeks. There are 10 to 16 participants in each workshop. In the workshop, you will learn how to:
- Deal with stress and tension, anger, frustration, depression, fatigue, and isolation
- Communicate effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
- Evaluate new treatments
- And more!
The Arthritis Society
The Arthritis Society is the only charitable organization in Canada uniquely dedicated to funding and promoting research, advocacy and solutions to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by arthritis. They run an in-person workshop for people in chronic pain. Everyone is welcome, no matter what the reason for your pain.
The Chronic Pain Management Workshop (CPMW): The Chronic Pain Management Workshop (CPMW) is a single, 2-hour course that focuses specifically on pain management. Participants have the chance to learn new information and skills, discuss ideas and share experiences with others that have chronic pain or care about people who live with chronic pain. Learn more.