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Message from the editors

Dr. Cathy Jeffery, Dr. Susan Tupper
We hope you are enjoying the beautiful Saskatchewan summer weather and easing of COVID-19 restrictions! What a relief to be able to enjoy some indoor and outdoor activities with family and friends. Even with the challenges of the past several months, SaskPain and our collaborators have a lot to celebrate. Here are some highlights since our last newsletter:
  • Check out our website www.saskpain.ca for all the latest news on pain management resources, education, and research in Saskatchewan and to access our social media.
  • The SaskPain research project partnership, "Improving Pain in Saskatchewan" continues to build momentum with the success of the Partners in Pain events. Watch our social media posts for announcements about upcoming webinars.
  • The Canadian Pain Task Force released their report, An Action Plan for Pain in Canada, and launched the #PrioritizePain campaign. SaskPain is a part of the pan Canadian team spreading the news.
  • The prestigious, evidence-based, peer reviewed journal, The Lancet, offers a new open access series on chronic pain for people living with pain and health-care providers.
  • The Pain Dementia and Virtual Reality (VR) research study is recruiting participants. This important study will examine the use of VR as a pain management technique with persons who are experiencing challenges with dementia and their family caregivers.
  • The work of SaskPain is continually informed by those who live with pain. Ross McCreery, a SaskPain Board member shares his important story.

#Prioritize Pain - An Action Plan for Pain in Canada

Prioritize Pain Campaign
In 2019, The Canadian Pain Task Force was established to advise and provide information to Health Canada regarding chronic pain care, management, and prevention. In May 2021, the final report - “An Action Plan for Pain in Canada” – was released. This document recommends targeted action to help improve the outcomes of those living with chronic pain, as well as the impact it has on Canadian society.

Alongside the summary report, the #PrioritizePain campaign was launched. This movement brings together those involved in pain advocacy, research, and health care (like SaskPain) to advocate for the implementation of enhanced pain care across the country.

Given this, we have launched our own social media presence so that #SaskPain can do its part in sharing relevant information to patients, care providers, and curious minds about the current state of chronic pain in Canada. The formal report be found at https://www.paincanada.ca, with more information being regularly posted on our new social media platforms:
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SaskPain is a CIF
Grant Recipient

On June 1st, SaskPain became a recipient of the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) grant. CIF is an organization which helps contribute to the quality of life of Saskatchewan’s residents by providing funding for programs that support individual and community wellbeing through non-profit and community leadership activities. We kindly thank this initiative for their support. More information can be found at: http://www.cifsask.org/

With this funding, SaskPain is able to continue working with our “Improving Pain in Saskatchewan” research team partners to host additional “Partners in Pain” sessions. We are also currently developing a podcast where we will be hosting Saskatchewan-based researchers, care providers, and patients to share their stories and lived experiences around chronic pain.

Is there someone you would like to hear from or have interviewed as apart of our upcoming podcast? Please get in contact with us if you have suggestions, feedback, or would like to get involved at info@saskpain.ca
Community Intiatives Fund

Partners in Pain Events Will Continue

SaskPain received funding from the Community Initiatives Fund for Partners in Pain (PIP), a monthly webinar for people living with pain and those who support them and a monthly podcast. We held 3 interactive, hour-long PIP sessions in March and had over 100 attendees. It was exciting to see the results:

  • 45% of attendees stated they felt less alone after attending,
  • 50% felt encouraged to connect with others,
  • 76% reported they were highly likely to practice the skills activity learned in the session on their own, and
  • 89% reported improved knowledge about pain.

Planning is underway to expand PIP across the province. Check out the recorded links for the sessions here:
Follow us on social media for regular updates on upcoming events, and let us know if you would like to present at one of our sessions!
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Pain Dementia And Virtual Reality Research Project
is Recruiting

The Pain Dementia and Virtual Reality research study is recruiting participants. Are you 18 years of age or older? Are you a family caregiver for someone living with dementia or do you live with dementia? Do you live within a 1 hour drive of Saskatoon?

If so, the team is recruiting participants to watch virtual reality videos (they provide the headset for up to one week). The study involves watching the videos, tracking changes in your pain levels and other symptoms, and providing your feedback on the videos and virtual reality either by email or in an online interview. Participants will receive a $50 token of appreciation for taking part.
Research Recruitment Poster
Complete this 4 question survey to see if you are eligible:

or contact susan.tupper@usask.ca for more information!
The Lancet

Chronic Pain Series

The Lancet recently published a new open access series on chronic pain. Pain is the most common reason people seek health care and the leading cause of disability in the world.

This Series of three articles synthesize recent findings across specialties, focusing on those with important implications for health-care providers and patients:

Chronic pain: an update on burden, best practices, and new advances
Nociplastic pain: towards an understanding of prevalent pain conditions
Neuromodulation for chronic pain
Editorial: Rethinking chronic pain

Click here to be directed to the series.

Virtual World Pain Summit – Fall 2021

The Pain Society of Alberta is virtually hosting the PSA World Pain Summit 2021 on Friday, October 15th to Sunday, October 17th.

The conference will be delivered remotely and entirely online, where the focus continues to be delivering a high quality, evidence-informed and diverse event to improve pain management strategies. Dr. Kristen Neff and Dr. Gabor Maté will be delivering keynote addresses.

Attendance is FREE for patients with lived experience or student/medical learners,
$49 for health care providers or allied professionals, and $99 for physicians/specialists.

More information and registration can be found at: https://www.painab.ca/wps21
Ross McCreery

The Power Of Your Story

Hi everyone, my name is Ross McCreery. I believe strongly in the power of a person’s story, and I wanted to share a bit of my mine with all of you.

In 2006, I was diagnosed with the rare disease Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). CRPS is a neuro-autoimmune disease that affects my left arm and leg and has since spread to my neck and back. Long story short: I’ve spent the last seventeen years living with constant chronic pain. When all of this began, I’m not going to lie, things weren’t exactly easy. Trying to find a diagnosis was difficult - how do you treat something that you can’t even put a name to?
Resources and knowledge of the disease are limited, so finding a physician who could diagnose and recommend what little treatment there was became a two-year journey. I kept telling myself during this time that nobody should have to live experiencing this type of pain. So I created my blog – “Painfully Optomistic” - that is really a chronicle of daily life and my experiences over the past seventeen years. Support groups are few and far between, so it became my network with other individuals who were diagnosed and suffering in the same way. It also allowed me to be a catalyst for trying to create change for those of us living in pain, and my personal challenges gave way to the opportunity to educate and raise awareness.

It was a way to look at my situation and use my story for good, taking anything that might have been a negative and turning that into a positive. Lack of knowledge was one of those negatives! In meeting people through the creation of my blog, I realized that there was a need to try and do more. So I created "CRPS Awareness Day" here in the Province of Saskatchewan. Doing this gave me the opportunity to network with other people with lived experience, as well as healthcare professionals, to create a conversation and highlight the important need to learn from one another.

As this conversation evolved, it has led to me getting involved with SaskPain as a Patient Family Advisor on their board and taking part in a research project that looks at chronic pain in the province of Saskatchewan. In reflecting on everything that has happened, I can’t help but feel that the simple fact that I started sharing my story through a simple blog was powerful and responsible for so much of what has happened along my journey. There is power in a story. Raising my voice has given me opportunities to make a difference, so don’t be afraid to share your story!
Alexandria Story
If you are open to sharing your lived experience and have it featured on our website, social media, or
in a blog and podcast -
please get in touch with us so we can raise awareness
and put a face to pain!
Ross Story
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