Chronic Pain

Pain that lasts for more than three to six months is considered to be chronic pain. One in five people suffer from chronic pain, and more than half of these individuals may have had pain for more than 10 years. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as “a sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such”. Chronic pain can be an invisible injury, meaning when people look at you they may not understand your pain because to them, you still look the same. This can make it very challenging to explain to family, friends or medical professionals how you are feeling. Some individuals may become even more frustrated as after having multiple tests and assessments, everything is coming back as “normal” and there isn’t an explanation for the pain. Others may have had test results explain their pain, however their pain is lasting longer than a typical healing time for that injury.

All pain is real pain, and should be treated as such. When someone experiences chronic pain, their nervous system begins to change and the system becomes more protective and sensitive. Other factors have the ability to influence how much pain they feel as well (for example stress, lack of sleep, mood, negative thoughts and beliefs now can increase the experience of pain). As a result, many individuals may begin to withdraw from physical activity, social events, time with family/friends or become unable to work. Chronic pain is a life changing condition.

Below are some websites that may be helpful.

Chronic Pain Management resources

Pain BC
Understanding chronic pain
Lorimer Moseley, why things hurt
Lorimer Moseley, Pain physiology
Introduction to chronic pain self management
Pain science workbook
Chronic pain support groups
Free online chronic pain self management program
Live Plan Be, Pain BC (patient reources)
Online yoga


A concussion is an injury to the brain that can cause a temporary disruption to how the brain is functioning. They can be caused either directly (e.g. a hit to the head) or indirectly (e.g. an insult to the body that transfers force to the head). This force to the head causes the brain to move within the skull. It typically causes brain tissue to change at a cellular level, leading to a rapid onset of neurological changes.

All concussions are traumatic brain injuries and should be treated as serious events. Most individuals begin to feel better about 10-14 days after an injury, with most symptoms resolving around 3-4 weeks. However, about 15% to 30% of individuals will continue to have persistent symptoms after a concussion. Some other factors may begin to cross over with concussion symptoms or make symptoms worse. Risk factors for prolonged symptoms can include: previous concussion, history of migraines, learning disabilities or ADHD, depression or anxiety, age, sex (females tend to be higher risk), visual and vestibular abnormalities, sleep abnormalities, improper management and misinformation.

Below are some websites that may be helpful.

Concussion Management resources

Overview of a concussion
Ontario neurotrauma foundation, guidelines for a concussion
Concussion awareness training for parents and coaches
Concussion awareness training resources
Return to sport guidelines
Tinnitus video by VEDA
St.Paul’s Tinnitus Clinic

Helpful Aps

Below are some apps that may be helpful.


Buddhify is an iOS app that teaches mindfulness-based meditation through a series of guided lessons. It includes more than 40 tracks categorized by mood or activity (for example walking, going to sleep, feeling stressed or work breaks). Written and voiced by a range of teachers, the sessions range from 4 to 30 minutes.


Looking at a cellphone or computer at night can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. f.lux is a simple app for Mac, Windows, and Linux computers that effectively deals with this problem by making the colour of the screen adapt to the time of day. At sunset, the display will mimic nature, gradually warming up the colours and greatly reducing glare.


MindShift™ is an iOS and Android app designed to help teens and young adults cope with anxiety, much of the content is applicable to adults as well. It includes strategies to deal with everyday anxiety as well as specific tools to tackle a variety of topics including making sleep count, worry and panic.



Qcard is an iOS app designed to outsmart forgetfulness for people living with conditions that affect their memory. It has colour-coded pathways for three different types of tasks: Quick Reminders (for example, taking pills, phoning a friend on a certain date, going grocery shopping); Guided Tasks (step-by-step reminders to do tasks with multiple steps, such as doing the laundry); and Appointments (reminders to attend timed events). Endorsed by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapist.


The vestibular system is composed of an apparatus located in the inner ear. It is a sensory system that helps you maintain your balance. This system is key for providing information regarding motion of the body/head and spatial orientation. It is composed of three semicircular canals (which tell about rotational movement) and a saccule and utricle (which tell about linear movement, for example up and down). Your vestibular system helps you to do many things, for example walk and move, see clearly when moving, and maintain posture and stability. Without it, you would be falling over constantly. Your body’s ability to maintain balance relies on three main control systems which all talk together. These systems include sensory input from your eyes (vision), sensory input from the vestibular system and sensory input from your muscles, joints and skin (proprioceptive system). These systems communicate together and share their information to help you adapt your posture and movement as needed.

Below are some websites that may be helpful.

BC balance and dizziness association
Vestibular disorder association

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