Learn more about chronic pain
We are here to help you learn more about living with chronic pain.
Chronic pain, or persistent pain, is pain that lasts longer than expected, or feels worse than what is expected based on the underlying injury or disease. Treatment of chronic pain is like treatment of any other chronic disease – you need advice or care from knowledgeable healthcare providers and you need to build skills in self-management.
Help for Pain management
Learn more about managing your pain.
A better understanding of pain and building self-management skills will help you gain control over your pain, which is essential to long-term pain management.
Check out the following resources for information on self-management skills:
Research shows that regular movement is the most effective long-term treatment for pain. But exercise isn’t easy when you live with pain and it takes time to build up your tolerance. If you struggle to start or stick with being regularly active, get advice from a physical therapist, occupational therapist, or exercise instructor.
Check out the following resources for information on physical activity:
Get advice from a physician, nurse practitioner, or pharmacist about the medications you’re taking for pain or other health conditions if you aren’t getting the benefits you want or have unpleasant side effects.
Check out the following resources for information on medications:
Multidisciplinary pain treatment clinics
Assessment and treatment from a multidisciplinary team can help people who struggle with their pain and other associated conditions of depression, anxiety, or substance use disorders.
Check out the following resources for information on multidisciplinary treatment plans:
Wellbeing and mental health supports
Practice relaxation exercises, get advice or treatment from a psychologist, social worker, or online course to reduce the negative impact of pain on your life, and improve your well-being.
Check out the following resources for information on wellbeing and mental health supports:
Connect with other people living with pain.
Check out the following resources for information on support groups:
Thinking Outside the Medicine Cabinet
Explore these resources on non-drug ways to manage pain
Partners in Pain
Hear about other people living with pain.
Check out the following resources:
Explore these resources to improve your understanding of pain.
Download these handouts about pain.
Watch these videos for understanding pain:
Pain in Older Adults
View this series of videos to learn more about pain in older adults.
You are not alone. One in five people in Saskatchewan live with chronic pain.
Everyone who lives with pain goes through a unique journey with the healthcare system, their family, friends, and within themselves. When faced with disbelief or stigma, people who live with chronic pain and their families can feel like they are alone or that no one understands what they’re going through. These stories show the challenges faced, journeys taken, and how people living with pain are fighting back and making pain management better in Saskatchewan.
Andrew Hartman is a Saskatoon resident who is currently a doctoral student at the University of Saskatchewan. Andrew has had a history of chronic pain throughout their life; currently, Andrew has been navigating how to live well with a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Ankylosing spondylitis is a global inflammatory disease similar to arthritis that causes pain. Over time, AS can cause bones in the spine (vertebrae) to fuse, and can spread to other joints to cause damage in additional areas of the body. Initially, Andrew sought the help of surgeons, acupuncturists, podiatrists, counselors, physical and massage therapists, and a nurse practitioner to manage their pain. At times, they were completely debilitated and unable to function. In addition to simply pushing through and trying to ignore the pain – coupled with lots of time resting – Andrew tried various therapies to get their condition under control – but, rarely, did anything help. Andrew indicates that, overall, seeking treatment for their chronic pain has been exhausting, isolating, scary, and traumatic experience for them. However, grieving the loss of their abled life – and accepting a new, beautiful path that their life could still be – was a turning point in healing […]