Chronic pain: do patients get the care and treatment they deserve?

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  • Angela Hawley says:

    I sprained my ankle 2in may 2019 should 2have healed in 3 weeks I have Ben bedridden for 2 yearsunale to wake or stand..finally I got an nri on June 13 and they did mri on my back so waiting again next nri is 11 Sept other consultant have said cars gp has not acted I rang gp last week and asked about treatment I have finally been put on slow release morphine but the dose not strong enough he said he would 2increase 10mg every 3 weeks, 20 weeks instill on same dose told gp I would have to put a complaint in as failure in duty of care ad left in agony 24/7 3p threw me out of surgery with one weeks notice I have addisons too left me with3 days of med

  • Olivia says:

    Hello…my name is Olivia Forfar – I’m a Trauma and Grief Specialist. Lately, I’ve had more chronic pain Clients coming to me for various treatments such as Meditation, Yoga Therapy, Talk Therapy, etc. However, there a growing number of Clients who are choosing to use ‘street drugs’ to gain some relief from the chronic pain, as their Family Doctors have decided to taper the Client off of their long-term use of opioids – which was the only treatment that helped! These Clients are at high risk of over-dosing. Where do these Clients go for sufficient treatment for their legitimate chronic – pain?

  • Audra Bortnikas says:

    deal with the pain patients and their pain first – get them out of pain now and then spend the next number of months /years discussing what works best. My guess it will go full circle to old school. If any of the folks or their family members on these pain discussion teams were suffering the answer would be very clear. How long would you let you or your family member suffer?

  • Jessica says:

    I’m a 36 year old woman who has suffered from chronic pain since age 17
    It started with migraines then
    My upper back into my hips by 20 I then was told to pretty much suck it up. It wasn’t until I put my c7 disk
    Out for the third time in 2 years that finally someone sent me in for tests I now have progressed to have my L5S1 decompression surgery but now have worse pain in my left hip and leg
    I did and have always worked full time but now that I cannot
    I can not afford a lot of my treatments what do I do I cannot even pay bills anymore

  • Deb says:

    Diane – You cannot allow a nurse or a nurse’s assistant to treat you in such a manner. Firstly, I would check with the provincial government and see if either are even a “registered nurse” or a “nurse’s assistant” or even a “nurse practitioner”. I hope that you have the names of them. If you don’t you are no different than 90% of people who don’t ask questions. It is absolutely necessary that you get names, etc. If the person is licensed and accredited then make a complaint to the powers that be (the provincial office for licensing). Be sure that you keep copies of absolutely everything right from the get go. You do not need a lawyer as this complaint is better coming from you personally.
    Is there another dr. in your community that does not share a office with yours. Do you think the dr. that you were going to see has any idea of the treatment that you have received? If you cannot get by the bag at the front you are going to have to become cagey and thank of a sneaky way to get in touch with the dr. Perhaps you know of someone who would take a letter from you (outlining the above) to a medical appt. they may have there. Other than that you are going to have to go the official route which will take some time. Another way which most people will not do, is write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. As for your pain I feel for you as I too have chronic pain for 9 years. I don’t like the way my pain is being managed and I intend to talk to my dr about it. By the way I am using 125mg of Fentanyl patches as well as Tylenol 3 and I still cannot carry on as a normal person. I broke my back in 1991. Hope this helps.

    • Audra Bortnikas says:

      great comment – time to fight back
      not just as individuals but as a united group that’s what’s lacking – our voices need to be heard NOW and action is needed NOW. pain patients don’t have the luxury of time

  • Diane Carrol says:

    I moved in August 2018 and the doctor I had been seeing for over 40 years referred me a Pain Clinic. That referral was destroyed by the nurse who received it as she failed to read it and assumed that I was a resident of another province when in fact I was a permanent resident in the same province as the clinic.
    The week I moved here, I contacted that clinic too give them my new health information and care card number. I left a message. The message they had on their phone stated ‘not’ to leave multiple messages as they always returned calls. After now response, I called again the first week in December, no response, I called again the first week in February, no response, I then attended the clinic in person the first week in March 2019. I was told by the triage nurse that I had no business even showing my face there. She personally destroyed all my medical records claiming I was an out of province patient.
    Since then I have had 6 MRI’s, 5 xrays, 4 ultrasounds and no response from that clinic at all.
    My neighbor had a phone call from them within 3 weeks and had has 3 appointments, yet I have waited over nearly 15 months.
    It is clear to me that there is serious incompetence at the Royal Jubilee Pain Clinic by the intake staff and receptionists who would rather throw out incoming documentation in an attempt to lessen their work load.

    What exactly do patients have to do to be recognized and treated here???

  • Mark says:

    I moved and can’t get into pain management after 16 years and fear the opiate withdrawal. Need help

  • joyce moore says:

    i red all that and i still do not have a clue what to do for my mom she has had hip and back pain for 3 years now dr keeps giving her percacet or Oxycontin she has tryed them but there to strong and just mess her up and make her sick and she is still sore what to do????

    • Diane Carrol says:

      I cannot even get a doctor to prescribe tylanol #3. So I have been in severe pain for well over 15 months

  • Greg says:

    Hi I am trying to find a doctor I have n
    Been on oxyneo 240mg a day for the last 25 years an now my doctor retired his name was baracat now I am in Magog Quebec an I was hoping that. You could help me out if so or more info pleasen call 873-200-2638

  • Brittany says:

    For me I don’t have chronic pain I I karate kicked a padded wall that had concrete behind it I didn’t know that until after I kicked. I got to the ER and they said I had a sprain with torn tendents and ligaments with a hairline fracture but 2 weeks later went to an orthopedic doctor as a follow-up and they didn’t even check my foot the doctor acted like I was lying wouldn’t even let me finish telling him what the ER said just told me to get out and I wanna know how I can sue them for this because not it’s to late to have any repair surgery to fix the problem and I’ve been having pain since

  • BILLY thornhill says:

    We truly need help BAD. BUT DON’T NO WERE OR WHAT TO DO.

  • BILLY thornhill says:

    I am in shock my wife can’t get nothing for pain. She is even receiving needles in her back. But continues to cry and go through he’ll. We just don’t no what to n do. We go to the hospital. They stick neddle in you and say go home.

  • CRPS says:

    They never do

  • Jessica Steacy says:

    Please add me Im almost 36 and I’ve been suffering for almost 9 years now I just was told today that I have chronic pain and doctor will sign paperwork for work (she thinks it started with my mingraines when I was 16-21)
    I’m getting accommodated until March but a third party company says
    I’ll be better in March or they will send me to their doctors
    I have my nerves burned from firstnto seventh vertabray every 3 months ansy hips as well
    At one point I thought I was going CRAZY but finally a new family doctor
    Is listening and kopis (Kingston orthopedic pain institute) are helping
    I guess I was hoping for a fix but am going to have to learn to live like this
    And hope I don’t loss my job

  • Cora huges says:

    Fibromyalgia attacked my mother body more than 3 years ago after her knee surgery. She has been in a wheelchair for about six months, and she used a cane for another six months. She  did not even know how to walk anymore. We fought the fibromyalgia with a lot of pain pills and tears not until we had to give a try on natural formulas, we purchased a herbal treatment from  which help her a lot and bring her back to normal again, the herbal formula reverse the symptoms grammatically and she’s totally free from the Fibromyalgia that cost her pains for ages .

  • Patty says:

    As a pain patient for more than 15 years … the last five years I continue to be collateral damage.
    How long am I expected to continue like this … Time is running out for me. The pain is relentless and doctors treat me like trash because they are now afraid to treat me thu no fault of my own.

    • Rhonda Smith says:

      You must live in Alberta then , I’ve been a pain patient for years , I have all the MRI’s , cat scans , and any other tests I can think of , I was sent to a pain specialist who I see over telehealth, the Dr was giving me pain meds and because he was being investigated by Alberta college of physicians for he suddenly put me on suboxone which doesn’t do shit , i kept pleading with him to put me back on opioids , but he said he couldn’t, I asked him if he wanted me to suffer and he said yes , even the nurse that was in the room with me was shocked that the Dr would say that , I have in treatable spinal stenosis, my discs are bulging and squishing my nerves , I have been home bound for 7 years , so if you plan to move to Medicine Hat Alberta please don’t, if there is a doctor out there that can help me or should I say is please contact rhondas665@gmail. com please contact me and give me some insight on what to do ! This is why people turn to street drugs and end up dead . Thanks Rhonda

  • Nancy Collins says:

    I broke my back at age 21. I went 10 years with a broken back because of no insurance. It had surgery 3 times and it is so bad I cry and never sleep. I am at a loss. I don’t believe I could ever get up again if I had more surgery. I am at my wits end. I don’t believe I can tolerate many more years of this. At 61 what is there left to make my pain tolerable?

    • Patty says:

      I am sorry Nancy … It seems we are in much the same place. They have reached in and pulled HOPE away!

      • David aka Nodscene says:

        I posted a few years ago and sadly I’m still around. I had planned to go camping and then end things so no family members would find me. Of course with my luck I damaged my car (which I wanted to leave to my Dad) and has to return home in the middle of my trip.

        I’m in worse condition than ever and the only good news is that the government is supposed to change the MAID laws so that you don’t need to have a foreseeable death. I’m doing everything I can to hold on until then.

        I’d like to bring up a couple issues for the doctors or others who think nsaids are the answer or that all opiods work the same. Short answer is they don’t. When I switched from Fentanyl to Morphine I was in excruciating pain to the point of breaking down crying to a friend. Thankfully I was out on Hydromorphone/Dilaudid which helped more than the others did. The biggest issue with that specific drug is that the bioavailability (the amount you absorb) ranges from something like 51% +/- 29%! That mean that one person taking 10mg is only absorbing 32% while the next person is absorbing 80%. Since they have a cap on how much you are allowed to take I’m sure you can see how this can be a huge issue. In a nutshell one person would need to take almost 3 times the dose as another person to get the exact same effects.

        Trust me, no doctors take that into consideration.

        A lot has been said and once again I post this as a plea to all the doctors and people who think that everyone talking opioids are drug seekers and their issues are easy to fix. I would trade my condition for cancer any day of the week (my mom died of cancer and stayed at home for palliative care until she passed so I know what I’m saying).

        If I’m allowed I’d just like to post a YouTube video of myself I took during a particularly bad day. Aside from the fact that I’m bedridden at this point I just want people to see what some chronic pain people deal with and why it’s so important that the government changes the MAID laws to include people like myself who doesn’t have a fatal disease. In a lot of ways its a worse sentence as there is no end in sight for the unending suffering.

        Doctors and government need to find sympathy for people in severe pain no matter what meds they are on and I’d like to put a human face to the suffering. This is also the reason why it should be my right to choose to end my life.

        I hope you allow this video to stay on this post. People need to see the reality of things.

  • Wade Heaton says:

    My boyfriend has chronic pain and our doctor will not prescribe anything stronger than Oxycodone. He was hit by a truck in 1992. He has osteoarthritis and has trouble sleeping because of pain. Is there anything that you can do to help?

  • Maddy says:

    It’s end of Septbetv2018 and the situation continues
    Your left to yourself to deal with the horrifying 24 hour pain and the medical profession does in no way care. It’s just too much trouble.

    The end is very near for me yet I have tried so hard. The doors are all closed.

    The medical profession talks to talk and leaves us to suffer until the very end of our days

    May God have mercy on your souls- you will all need it for letting me/is to sifferylukr this.

  • grimlynne says:

    And people have all this time invest in these theories, right? They should give up their jobs and suffer. Possibly lose everything. Talk about only looking at the problem from the your prospective….the people that ARE NOT suffering daily. This is enough to make a person lose hope….

  • Maria Kidd says:

    I am in chronic pain from a head on collision I had that was not my fault. I was left with chronic pain from my back injuries, I have degenerative disc disease now. My right leg was caught under the dash that ripped my knee off and cut the nerves. My heel bone broke in half and they put a pin in it that started moving for a year of excruciating pain. My ribs broke and my lungs were bruised from the 200km impact. My chest was black and blue. It took me two years of therapy to walk again. They removed the pin. 30 years later Im Still in pain. Then I developed a disease so rare that there are no doctors for it. It’s called Behçet’s disease. It’s the inflammation of the blood vessels. It affects every part of my body and compounds my already chronic pain. Last week my pain specialist told me that she will be rapidly reducing my fentalyne patches at my dose of 200mg a day to nothing. In three months which seems insane to me. She told me I could go on OxyContin or suboxone or Methadone. All so the people who made these ridiculous changes in the first place happy. Here is my take on what’s going to happen. These people are in true pain and it’s going to cause them to look to the streets for their pain meds. But nobody cares because at least their doing their jobs on cutting everyone down to nothing. Just so they can say they did something about the opioid crises. Little do they know they are making it worst. Opioids are not going away there will only be more for people in real pain. I hope they have the money to buy it because I don’t. I’m on a small disability pension. That took me 4 years of applying and being rejected. I finally got it on the fourth time. Good luck everyone tapering off. We are going to need a miracle for sure so start praying for help from above. We should start a group chat or some kind of support group for help since we are all in it together.

  • Maddy says:

    I can no longer live with this terrible daily chronic pain, I have suffered for over 30 years. My family doctor gets mad if I even say anything about what is wrong with me. If I say that everything is OK he’s fine and renews my prescriptions. He doesn’t refer me to anyone. I even managed to get myself referred voluntarily to a mental health hospital who found – i was not mental, in fact was well-read and highly intelligent, was not depresssed and their conclusion: PAIN and they could do nothing about that. My doctor says his Oath says: harm no one but 1 doctor in Florida told me: But he forgot to tell you his Oath says to Help. But that is the way it goes. Not that I want to die. In fact I would love to live and I have everything to live for yet I can no longer endure. All doors are closed. There is only 1 thing left that I can do to rid myself of this hellish pain. If there is anyone, anywhere who can help me I would still try whatever they suggested. But, of course, money always comes in play. I live in Ontario, Canada and although we have free health care it is only for the basics and we have to wait in line but, in my case, even that hope does not exist.

  • vaino says:

    thanks a lot for this information.
    i’m a physiotherapy student at the school of medicine in Namibia, with chronic back pain i find it hard to study because i can not seat for long hours yet i’m motivated to study hard and make a difference in how to approach and help patients who may have the same problem.

  • Chantal says:

    Lynn Cooper’s description of pain is exactly what I go through every day,24/7. It’s chronic. The diagnosis, m.s.
    I don’t want to move, I spend my life lying down, watching television.
    My limbs to my toes,burn relentlessly. The more I move, the worse it gets. I’m on patches and a high dosage of Lirica. They mildly help, if weather permits. The weather/temperature affect me. Without, would be a great deal worse I’m sure. For this, I thank God.
    That another person/doctor, or government agency, has control over my quality of life, I find frustrating. I’m emotionally, phycologically and physically drained. It’s everything I have to focus on something else.

  • Claude says:

    I`m having this chronic pain for the last 3 years because of the cancer treatment 5 years ago .Thank god i`m on remission since 5 years but developpe this problem 3 years ago. I` sick and tire suffering like that and i went to a medical clinic and the emergensy and i was told that they coud`nt do anything for me and proceed to ask me what i want them to do .Now i`m off the antidepressions and that didn`t help me now i`m thinking of finishing my life since apparently the medecin can not do anything for me.Please i`m desparate and barely hanging and so so tired.I don`t think that there is no future for me and my grand kids will be suffuring if i do something stupid and on the other hand it might be my only way out for confort.Tank you for reading this but i`m not the only one with this problem.

  • Sunshine says:

    They are so worried about people abusing pain pills becoming addicted. Here’s the thing people are going to abuse everything in this world there’s no way to keep from it. They abused children their spouses and everything else in this world even animals. But that doesn’t mean we all quit having children or we don’t get married anymore or even have a pet. Same goes with food people abuse food all the time and become addicted to eating doesn’t mean we’re not going to serve food anymore and restaurants or allow people who aren’t really hungry to eat. There’s no way to tell if they’re really hungry or just be using food. There’sno way to watch everyone in the world and make sure that they don’t abuse something it’s just the way of the world so you don’t punish the people that are in pain and not let them have what they need because someone else might abuse it. To be in pain is an awful thing and no one should have to live through it’s almost torture pretty much.

  • Stephanie Scott says:

    Thank you for this information. I’m currently writing a book on using Reiki therapy as a non-pharmaceutical method to help relieve chronic pain. Hoping we can all work together to help those who are suffering.

    Steph Scott RN
    The Reiki Nurse

  • Paul says:

    I currently live in Southern California USA, and I have many years of experience as an engineer, and I am thinking that I would most likely be better off moving to another country due to the problems here in California and the USA in general. I have a number of disks in my back that are compressed and cause me pain. I would like to know if I could get treatment or help in Canada, and if so what places might be best. I am not lazy, but currently due to the poor care that I get here in the states I really have no fear of death for myself. I have other family members that depend on me and a dog as well. I enjoy reading and many other things, but due to back injuries even with the strongest medications I am not able to run and jump. There are other things going on as well, but it is the poor care that I get here that along with lack of caring that I do not know how much longer that I will be alive. I have asthma and do have a problem with recurring pneumonia and doctors are not really willing to even prescribe medications to help me for infections long enough to be effective. That is why I am looking towards other places that can use skilled people that are willing to teach, or solve complex engineering problems that are willing to give me more of a chance at life. As opposed to getting ready to die here…

  • Felix says:

    There should be a good audit for each of the healthcare professions and their training models. Students get far too little training in pain education, especially in the domain of psycho-social health that provides context ever-present in chronic pain.

  • Korry says:

    My chronic pain started when I was in a car accident that almost took my life and after trying several things I was put on pain meds and over the years i have developed arthritis scoliosis fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome and I had a great doctor who reffered me to a pain specialist and we came up with new thing’s I could try I fully trusted her and she me I truly felt she cared but then she left the country and I had to get a new doctor and this doctor keeps cutting my pain medications and now I can barely walk and take care of myself and my son has been helping me but he has left his job early to help me get down the stairs and to a cab to get to my doctor’s app and his boss said the next time he left early he was fired.Then after my doctor cut my meds down again my back tighted up to the point where I was bent over and couldn’t straighten up and i had a Dr’s app but I couldn’t get to the car to leave without help and my son came and helped and got fired I told my dr this he seen me bent in half but didn’t care and said that he would continue to cut my meds so I’m terrified without them I can’t walk l will not live in agony in a bed unable to take care of myself l will not be a burden l feel I have no option but suicide If anyone knows what I can do l also have several other health issue’s and I can’t get help for them if I can’t walk l don’t want to die but I dont know what else to do. If anyone knows what I can do PLEASE e-mail me. Iam DESPERATE

  • Tessa says:

    I live in chronic pain and I’ve been under medicated (only given tylenol 3) and PLENTY of anti inflammatories for years… needless to say I’ve turned to the streets.
    I could’ve been something.
    Done something with my life.
    And all because of a prescription and a pill that wouldn’t affect you… I’m not forcing you to take meds.
    But you’re forcing me to do things that don’t work / smoke dope which actually does make you high, and I’m sorry you have MILD chronic pain if pot helps you ahaa… wow.
    If anyone knows of a doctor that prescribes medication please let me know, I’m tired of playing junkie just to get through my miserable life.

  • Hannah says:

    I have been living with nerve pain in my right arm for over 10 years now. Lack of resources, funds, and health insurance has prevented me from getting it fixed. I was a blackjack dealer for 17 yrs. Work comp denied because it wasn’t accute. After losing everything and pushing all friends and family away, I am at my end. All tests come back normal. I am trying thoratic outlet now. My doc does not seem hopeful. He has they lack the equipment and experience in Las Cruces to evaluate this properly. He said Dallas TX is the closest place to diagnose my condition. I have been misdiagnosed incorrectly for years. Nerve pain meds, narcotics, alcohol, yoga exercise, acupuncture, stretches, rest, heat, cold, tinge units….you name it. I have stuck bandaids on my symptoms for years. It’s not getting better….the mental anxiety of these sensations over the years has caused my blood pressure to rise to stroke levels. I am going insane. I can’t think, function, work, or even wash dishes. Typing this letter is causing major irritation. It crawls, tingles, numbs, weakens, runs, pins, needles, constantly. It’s consumes my every thought. I constantly think of ramming a rod down into my shoulder and going to the ER and saying “now you have to fix it.” I am losing hope. The thought of one more day feeling this sensation is unbearable.

    • Vanessa says:

      Hi Hannah,

      I just read your comment and I just want to say hang in there. I have pain too. The pain is in my eyes and sometimes I think of taking a melon baller and scooping out my eyes. How gross is that? Anyways, there is a solution out there for you and better days ahead. Keep moving. Keep fighting.

  • NoPain says:

    There are a lot of successful treatment options you can receive from physiotherapy and chiropractors to treat pain. Chronic pain is very complex and there are psychosocial components that require further exploration. I think there is a greater role for PT who are underutilized in pain management. The main benefit being that your PT will spend more than 5 minutes with you and will take a comprehensive look at your posture, muscle balance, fascial trigger points, etc. Based on my lived experience as a patient in the OHIP system and as an employee of the public health care system, I really don’t know how most doctors can tackle this issue with their lack of time and caseload constraints. Greater advocay is needed for PT, as well as inclusion of PT services in OHIP covered areas such as pain management clinics. Ideally a greater number of well trained MDs with minimum 20-30minute appointment slots would be needed, but that’s an issue to tackle with the government.

  • Karen says:

    Physicians don’t care about people in pain and/or people who can’t sleep at night and/or people who have suffered loss because of poor health. They care about money, status, knowledge, power, and doing as little work as possible in their pursuit of money, status, knowledge, power. Take advantage of less fortunate people to get ahead? Yes please!

  • Painsense says:

    Yes, why not? It totally depends on the doctors and their treatments.
    On doing a lots of research I found PainSense one of the best Service provider to patients with Chronic Pain. Radiology and clinical expertise ensure that the right procedure is performed for the right patient.

  • Laura says:

    I have had chronic pain since 2005 first I was put on oxycocets ect, but my system process them to fast so I went on Metadol which is Methadone for pain. Works great no side effects. But a pain clinic doctor started me and now wants my family GP to carry on. But he doesn’t want that so since then we have been lowering my doses and trying to find a new pain clinic closer to Trenton ON where I live so I don’t have to sit in a car for 5 hours sometimes longer on 401 W for my visits. My pain is getting worst again and starting to lose my daily activites again. We need more family doctors to have access to Methadone. Note I tried going to a Methadone clinic but that was so de-grading. ( Laura)

    • Nodscene says:

      Hi Laura,

      Please do some reading on Methadone and really so your homework as it’s truly a terrible drug. Not only is Methadone one of if not the hardest medication to come off of but there are dangers involved (as with all meds) but in some cases much worse.

      This may just be a personal/paranoid/cautious thought but the whole Methadone program is way to controlled by the government. You need to be at a specific place at a specific time to get your meds and as such they have full control of your life. Not to mention the dangers of taking the wrong medication or even supplement which could cause an overdose or death (sorry, I don’t remember all the research I did on Methadone but imo it’s about the worst medication you can take).

  • Rita Bailey says:

    Picture yourself in a car accident & the ER dr tells you… sorry we can’t give you anything for pain !!! Now your gonna have surgery & your dr says SORRY we can’t put you under & absolutely nothing for pain…how does that feel !!!

  • Rita Bailey says:

    PURE BS & I hope you & ALL of your colleges have to endure PAIN !!! I certainly wouldn’t take it if I wasn’t living this kind of life !!! Try getting up & your back CAN’T hold you up… try going to the bathroom & getting up… try to lay down & rest but the stabbing won’t stop… 15 plus years… just a freaking bunch of idiots!!! Entirely no quality

  • Scott Farraway says:

    They have taken away the very thing that has kept some people alive without replacing it with anything. People with severe chronic pain need medications to survive and get out of bed. Without them pain reigns and life becomes unbearable.

  • Brenda Lee McIntyre says:

    If anyone comes up with how to get a class action suit against the Government and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. I have been trying to find a Lawyer but to no Avail. I swear to God that the Lawyers and Doctor’s are so afraid of having their Practices being taken away they are afraid of making waves. The Doctor’s in Hamilton had a clipping in the paper that they should leave patients that have been on Narcotics most of their lives not to reduce their medications at all because they may end up putting patients at risk for even more Health problems. The Doctor that I did have told me that I could never come off narcotics. I have been on Pain Meds for 43 Years. I have been reduced twice already and can barely function.

  • Terry Robertson says:

    My son has suffered from chronic pain since he was a child and now at 30 doctor is trying to remove all pain medication. I fear his quality of life will be lessened to the point he will see no reason to continue. Where can I turn for help a family doctor who quotes current beliefs is not an answer. I am terrified I will lose my son to pain. He has never self medicated in any way. I need help.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Brenda. My wife is in the same situation. We have to get together and fight this! It is criminal! See our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Terry my wife is in the same position. See our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates. We’re trying to bring people together.

  • Terry Robertson says:

    My son now 30 has suffered from chronic knee pain since he was 8 he has received very little help and less concern. After two surgeries on his knees that were unsuccessful he ended up since 2007 having been committed to Homewood in Guelph on three different occasions. And besides having chronic pain he is also is fighting a mental health disorder. Now we have been informed that a new study from McMaster indicates that they should reduce his medicine. I feel totally betrayed by the medical community and especially by our family doctor who has been his doctor since he was 5. I believe this new anti pain relief mentality will drive my son to a point where he feels his life is not worth living. I am sure the health community when he loses his battle for life will point to his mental health issue. Make no mistake he will lose to pain and the lack of relief then I guess their goal will have been met he won’t be in pain anymore. I sure there is no one at the end IOC this who cares or will help my son just want it stated somewhere that my son is being so stripped of any quality of life. He has done everything asked of him. He refuses to self medicate and has never used alcohol or illegal drugs to try self medicate yet he is treated like an addict or criminal. We are a low to middle class family and I believe we are lab rats to the new research grants if I had managed to move my family into higher social or economic standing in society he would of received better faster and best most effective care available. I am positive doctors lawyers and other higher levels of society’s family’s are treated like annoy waste product. I am thankful for a place to vent even if at the other end an erase button is pushed or a I give someone a good laugh.

  • Christine Coletti says:

    While the need for Education exists for Healthcare Providers, so does the Need to Generate Much MORE resources for patients awaiting spinal surgery – a quick look in google or google scholar, and academic resources comes up VERY THIN on a Patients hand guide to ‘Thrive and Survive’ – while awaiting Spinal Surgery – or even a Specialist Consultation.

    It is so key to have a close relationship with your family MD and your pharmacist, physio, acupuncturist, RMT (Massage). We spend a fortune, end up on disability and then no longer have the funds to try and relieve pain – a vicious cycle. There are lots of topical ointments that can be formulated to help with spinal column direct pain, along with the use of anti-epileptics, or anti-depressants. Titrating (increasing doses) and becoming familiar with each drug you are given is key (being a RN for 31 years gives me a little more education) – but this needs to be part of the comprehensive team care needed.
    There is little out there to help patients cope, the resources are generally for Health Professionals and provide little education for patients – Thankfully Australia, Great Britain (NHS) have some great resources. Sad that Canada does not have these – I highly recommend patients search the web around the world to find resources to cope in the long waitlists.

  • Joanna says:

    Chronic pain patients have been totally abandoned by heartless politicians who should leave doctors alone to manage their patients as they see fit, and also by selfish, fearful, lying physicians who will not risk their incomes or lifestyles in order to actually help people. It is disgusting.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Joanna. I agree! Please see our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates. It’s time to come together and make some noise!

  • Phil says:

    I have aids there is no cure just a longterm treatment as a result of all the drug trials it has left me with as the neroligist said was the worst case of Aids related phneropathy . Along with getting run Down in parking lot leaving me with a back that doesn’t work and I was on oxycodone it worked now I moved to a different town and thy this kind met hi done is the answer well it don’t help my back the only thing it does is keep me so doped out of it iam sleeping all the time it’s like I have been shelved and am us less in society what a great feal in a wrath less piece of flesh can’t wait this is. US less no one ever pays a tent ion any way I can’t take the pain any more I know what pain people suffed

  • Sheila Erickson says:

    I’ve been in pain for years I m at the stage where there seems to be no help it’s so frustrating the article is enlightening

  • Karen says:

    Our medical care system has me confused and angry. I have lived with chronic pain for twenty years and every time I find medication that works they start to regulate heavily due to street value on these pain medications. I have been on the same meds and strength for years and now have been forced to reduce to a level that does not cover what I need, which cause alot of anxiety and depression and a feeling of worthlessness due to being treated like a street junky.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Karen. My wife is experiencing the same. See our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

  • Robin says:

    I am a 40 year old woman who has been suffering in chronic pain for six and a half years. I have two amazing children, but sadly I had to give up the vision of the kind of mother I planned to be and instead sit by and watch as they have grown up before me. I am one of the lucky ones who has an inter-disciplinary pain clinic in the community where I live. However, it was over two and a half years before I was referred to the clinic, was almost a year before I was seen by one of their physicians and over five years before I received a CRPS diagnosis. I have attended every kind of education session they have offered, been to counselling, practice regular self care, and still suffer in extreme pain, every minute of every day.
    I am one of the pain patients who is being treated with opioids. I have tried coming off them and the hell of trying to live like that was pure torture. It was not the fact that I felt like I “needed” this medication, it was the fact that I lost all ability to function in my affected limbs. Patient led care in Chronic Pain Management is so important. I am the only one that can say if those opioids are truly helping me or not. How is it right that someone who does not know me, does not know the excruciating pain I endure and will endure for the rest of my life, can come along and say that pain sufferers should not be treated with opioids. I am one of the patients who had tried everything imaginable, spent my family’s entire savings and more, all in an effort to reduce my pain. Unfortunately, I am also one of the ones where everything I tried, failed to make a difference.
    I also pay into MSP, our province’s health care plan. I have never missed a payment, and have never once paid late. However, I have found out that they are no longer willing to pay for one of the nerve blocks I get at my pain clinic. I have been receiving these nerve blocks for the last couple of years and require them every two weeks so that I continue to have functional use of my right arm. We have tried spacing them out further and every time I regress to the point that I cannot even pick up a fork to eat my dinner. But a government official can once again determine what is best for me and forbids to pay my doctor for providing me with an obviously effective treatment. I do not understand how they can do this. Our MSP is not supposed to be an elective health care plan. I desperately need this treatment to function and to be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband. I need this treatment so that I do not question my will to live.
    In summary, I was not effectively diagnosed within a reasonable time frame and therefore did not receive timely treatment that would have possibly lead to a better outcome. I had to wait a significant amount of time to access a multi-disciplinary pain clinic. I finally found a treatment that provided increased function in my daily life, although it needs to repeated bi-weekly, only for my provincial medical system to deny my access to this treatment. I spent my family’s entire savings and more on all types of natural health care and therapy, all for very little benefit. And now, my opioid prescription is being threatened by changing rules on the distribution of narcotics to people in pain.
    I am a human being, a contributing member to society. I did not kill someone in a past life or do anything else that would make me deserve the sentence I have been dealt. I have been sentenced to a life inside a prison of pain. I have to try and hold my head up high under the unsurmountable weight of grief, grief that is caused by all I miss out on and all I have had to give up in life. I have many years ahead of me still, and have to continue on knowing that I will suffer like this with every breath I take. Is it too much to ask to allow me to decide what is right for my health moving forward? Is it too much to ask that you let me tell you what my very own evidence based treatment looks like? What works for me may be very different than what works for the next person with chronic pain, that is why it is essential that those trying to reduce pain ensure that they are actively involving their patient in the ongoing treatment plan.
    We need more patient led care, more evidence based treatments, more chronic pain funding and more access to services and treatments before we will ever make headway on the epidemic of Chronic Pain.

    • Kristine says:

      Excellent post. No one knows our story, what it is like to be in our shoes.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Robin. My wife is experiencing the same thing. It is unbearable. I fear for her life. See our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Robin. My wife is experiencing the same thing. See our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

  • Martie Whitaker MA says:

    Dr. Hanse Clarke, Director of Pain Services at Toronto General Hospital, stated recently in the Toronto Star that fentanyl, an extremely effective medication for chronic pain patients, “should be reserved for the exclusive use of cancer patients”. These kind of irresponsible and silly comments do a great deal of harm to chronic pain patients.

    Martie, 56, has tried just about every pain modality, including an implant4ed pain pump. It wasn’t until she was put on a low dose fentanyl pain patch that she experience significant pain relief. Because of this pain relief, Martie is able to take care of her elderly mother, volunteer as a crisis counsellor (and helps run this program at her church) and to even sing in a performance choir. Without the medication, Martie can do nothing besides lie in bed in agony.

    Martie’s pain patch is only part of her pain management strategy. She also uses exercise, meditation, the services of a trained guide dog and massage therapy when she an afford it

    You should do a better job of checking on your sources. Clarke is a menace to the pain community.

    • Pret says:

      I fell 28 months ago. Have been told by family doctor, Physio,massage therapyst,pain clinic,(Prolotherapy), back clinic. They can not help. “Do what you can do, take medication). Before fall, walked 8-10 miles a week. Very happily married, great family. Now becoming very depressed, drugs and I do not get along very well. Help please!

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Martie. Please see our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

  • William Cowdy says:

    When I can afford to do so I use medical marijuana, as per my prescription. I cannot afford to buy what I am allowed, particularly since tax, and shipping must also paid. I do not believe that either the Feds or the provincial government gives a damn about chronic pain, other than paying lip service to the need to improve distribution of opioids to chronic pain sufferers, while stopping the distribution of same all together. If they did, they would have made medical marijuana easier to access by sufferers, rather than making it almost impossible to find a doctor that will prescribe it. Sound confused, try and find a clinic that will prescribe marijuana without charging hundreds of dollars to the applicants for the privilege of being legal.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Totally agree! See our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates. We need to come together and find a way to change this!

  • Elizabeth Rankin says:

    Patient access to Interdisciplinary Teams is the best way for most patients’ problems. My personal issues with a large L5S1 herniated disc were not resolved “medically” they were resolved with Physiotherapy, Cranio-scaral Therapy and Homeopathy using Arnica & Hypericum. Even though a neurosurgeon informed me I’d only get better with surgery, I persisted with those I knew were helping me. Yes, the medical route provided the CAT scan but otherwise my experience was a dead end. I’d decided I wasn’t going to go the route of powerful prescribed opioids so I made the right decision for me. A year later, knowing I’d successfully recovered using a team approach (none recommended by a doctor) I decided to write the neurosurgeon. I wanted this doctor to know patients shouldn’t be told they’ll never get better without surgery. This letter generated a phone call from the surgeon.

    I think our health care system needs an overhaul beginning with a willingness to incorporate the right team of professionals to help patients work out their single or multi problems. We all know the doctor-patient only scenario has failed to provide the best approach. This articles brings many issues to light. Change is needed if we want to “first help patients.” Doing so will reduce the burden to patients and provide more tax dollars to revamp the system. We need up to date technology for patients and practitioners to “move into 21st. century health care.”
    If this were to happen we could eliminate the many levels of bureaucracy that fund various jurisdictions, or would we?


    So we still must just WAIT. WE KNOW ALL OF THIS…it has not changed since the beginning of time . These programs are wastefull and demeaning to anyone involved. To sit and pay someone to tell you how to do things you are already doing, and to coach you on aspects you don’t need coaching in (just in case you might not know) IS NOT HELP! The average response to an idea like this, is that the person is not receptive, or a non compliant. The fact of the matter is, that people need to be given the simple tools to manage themselves. Painkillers are a SIMPLE tool, that play a role in a grand scheme of tools, that YES…have ramifications if not used properly ( just like a power tool , car, stove etc ) Those SIMPLE tools have been taken away, and then we sit there scratching our heads, wondering why this isn’t working. Kill pain, life can continue and the next step sized up…but sooooo many cannot reach that first step and then fail as a result. If the person needs help there after…THEY CAN ASK FOR IT. A majority of the problems that a chronic pain patient is facing HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. We are regularly fighting regulations and biased doctors, we regularly must change plans and medications that are working just fine for us. We are told things we find to help do not , and those that don’t, DO…and if we dare challenge the idea, we are dismissed. Most times this dismissal puts us back to the start , where years to decades of progress are smite in an instant. There is a constant disruption of balance in our lives, from outside sources telling us that they are here to help. There will never be a program in the world that will allow for a medical professional to be in control of all these aspects, WHILE STILL MAINTAINING THE FREEDOMS THAT PATIENT HAS A GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO . ANY PERSON WHO HAS HAD THEIR INDEPENDENCE STRIPPED FROM THEM, WILL BE LIVING IN CONSTANT EMOTIONAL CHAOS. THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS THE FAULT OF A MEDICATION, CONDITION OR CHOICE. LIVING IN CHRONIC PAIN IS A ROLLER COASTER… A ROLLER COASTER; THAT IS NOT IN ANY WAY ACKNOWLEDGED BY OUR MEDICAL SYSTEM… A ROLLER COASTER; THAT IS IN FACT, USED TO EXTORT THE PATIENT BY PROTOCOL. Just because people decided that they were not comfortable with an idea (largely due to the rumors perpetuated by hungry media companies), we now must surrender every bit of privacy and self meaning to accommodate THEIR feelings and comfort….all for a reason that is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Once the aspect of freedom (and a general respect for human life) is addressed, you will see the progress you are looking for…untill then, forget about it! You are doing nothing but harm…a small amount of medication or health complicating procedure, is in no way vindication of the god like role you have all played in forcing most chronic patients to suffer needlessly. No one wants to live a life with some counselor breathing down their neck every second of it (especially while racked with pain and frustration), nor should they have to . Pain and getting injured is a fact of life , get over IT and YOURSELF. You are taking NORMAL people , and CREATING the monsters you say started this all.

    • Kathy says:

      And possibly more suicides then drug over doses by drug addicts. NOT chronic pain sufferers such as myself. I am terrified what will happen when they lower me so low that my pain will. Be unbearable. They will also turn many into heroin addicts. Causing even more deaths. Where does it end ???
      Pain ppl or drug addicts.
      So far the chronic pain sufferers are the only LOSERS here !

      • Emily says:

        So true. The drug abusers have taken away our rights. I agree they are trading one problem for another . People will turn to street drugs to get relief they should be getting from the Doctor. So the control they are taking away from Dr.s to give a narcotic is going to increase good citizens to maybe become bad citizens, forcing them to turn to more harmful street drugs and more suicide . We as chronic pain suffers face discrimination , humiliation every time we ask for help , having these Dr.’s make you feel like a drug addict. Turn around and kiss the ass of the junky.

      • C. K. says:

        Most people who get drugs off the street do so because the medical community failed to treat their pain in the first place, forcing people to find relief on their own. Drug dealers, for the most part, care more about your pain than the doctors do. The doctors are the real criminals. How many methadone clinics are run by former pain doctors? Almost all of them!! These doctors prescribed these pills to anybody for so long that they can no longer treat people who need the medications, they screwed over those in actual pain. So now they push the narrative that all pain patients are addicts and make bogus money at the clinic treating the same people they hooked up with a fix for the last 20 years. Now that the patent has run out on oxys and there are more generic painkillers than ever and that’s a problem. It’s a problem because theres not as much money to be made. How much do you want to bet that Perdue and their investors make out like bandits with the help of their surrogates in Congress. It’s all about the money.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Derek would love to touch base! See our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

  • MJ Bailey says:

    Good article. Yes we need more research but I’d prioritize early treatment programs. It took 18 months for me to see a pain specialist. I was seriously depressed by then and the pain was there to stay, along with sleeplessness and anxiety. I had zero knowledge about what I was going through and how to deal with it other than rest, ice or heat, and stretching exercises which I did faithfully with little relief. Yes, train the GPs. Also, Doctors, stop trying to push patients off opiods and onto marijuana oil just because you’re getting hassled by your oversight organization for writing what they think are too many prescriptions. How about some science there instead of just trying to get the organization off your backs.

    • Scott Farraway says:

      Hi Derek. Read your response. Please see our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

  • Samantha Fashler says:

    Great article! It describes important issues in pain management and patient care.

  • Heather Divine says:

    One piece that was not given enough attention is the importance pain self-management. At People in Pain Network, a nonprofit that establishes peer-led, pain self-management support groups, we realize that a person living with pain may see a healthcare provider for 20 minutes a month, and the remaining 43,180 minutes every month are theirs to self-manage their pain.
    Pain impacts the body, mind and spirit and so people need guidance and education to learn to make adjustments to their body, mind, spirit and environment to live well with pain. They need help tp build a new normal. Our groups provide a safe place, with trained peer leaders, so people can share the struggles and just as importantly, learn and share knowledge about solutions and community resources and celebrate successes. Pain self-management is one of the bigger pieces of the multi-discipline approach to managing persistent pain. I have been learning and practicing my own pain self-management skills for over 26 years now so I do understand how important this piece is.

  • John Crosby says:

    As an emergency and family doctor for 43 years I have had very few patients develop chronic pain because I treat acute pain very aggresively. I try to keep the patient working and advise physiotherapy and chiropractic and I avoid prescribing narcotics. Instead I recommend tylenol in maximum doses and NSAIDS (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) like Aspirin Aleve and Advil. They are non addicting and really work in the right doses.
    Heat, ice, massage and exercise help a lot too.
    Dr. John Crosby, Cambridge.

    • The required name says:

      This is in no way an answer to this issue. And unfortunately, the approach of many doctors. Non narcotic non narcotic non narcotic is the only catch phrase you know. How about you answer the calls of those who DO need them. There is a world of patients who have not had the same experience, and just because you fail to look in their direction, does not mean they don’t exist/are not suffering daily because of it. Any professional can direct themselves towards the easy work. In your case, you have the “privileged” of dismissing those who you cant cure (in this case) as drug addicts/non compliant, and that is EXACTLY what the problem is. Too many doctors with too much pride, who instead of acknowledging the limitations of our medical system, unload the afflicted as non compliant or of a different affliction, to avoid failure. Its time that the public starts telling you folks exactly what is up. Any person hell bent on finding a solution to their pain (which is many), has already tried all of the above mentioned, and turns to them regularly (even when they know its not the answer). Grow up and do your job , you have in no way addressed the issue we are talking about here. You have segued into a different time and place, which is long passed. That ship has sailed for most, and the medical community has told them “tough sht” (We don’t know how to regulate you the way we want to, so you cant have it), even though we have the technology/pharmacology to address it. Your response is of the likes of MANY that are given in doctors offices around the country, where the patient is essentially ignored after months, years or even decades of unrelenting pain. They have clawed and saved their way to that day, just to have you spit in their face, and push them out with no answer much less relief. While that may just be another appointment to you , it is very often a life altering event for that patient. If you are not up to the challenge, then you should gracefully bow out (and I mean of practice, not of the appointment). Doctors are the last leg of defense that the chronic pain community has, and you are cowering in the false narrative pushed by govenment agencies with a clear agenda. SAVING PEOPLE FROM ADDICTION, WHO WILL HAVE NO LIFE OTHERWISE, IS A POINTLESS ACT.

      • Kristine says:

        I agree completely. We are ignored, treated on a ‘but you might become an addict’ mentality.

      • Kathy says:

        Well said.
        Thank you for posting your comment. I am terrified what will happen as they are now weening me down off my meds. To what the Government THINKS is the highest for everyone. No 2 ppl are alike with pAin. Yet these clowns seem to think so. I want to know why our Dr’s who went to school for many years and took an Oath to help the sick. Are cowering in the corner. Even know many agree the smart Doctors do NOT agree. I have never thought about suicide but I think about it almost every day now. If I take my own life due to my chronic pain I pray the truth comes out and not Government lies.
        Loved your post

      • Christine says:

        No we are not given any respect or help when managing chronic pain. I’m 41 years old. I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I also have carpal tunnel and nerve entrapment in both my elbows. I have reflex sympathetic dystrophy in the one foot. I’m in constant pain. With pain managed I was able to return to work. I care full time for my parents mom has dementia and dad has mobility issues. My doctor took me off all my pain meds. I used to be on a fentanyl patch with percocets for breakthrough pain. Now nothing but Tylenol and Advil which I max out every day. I’m still is severe pain so much so I vomit from pain. I’m getting max 3 hours of sleep broken up per night. I’ve never abused drugs or alcohol. I don’t even smoke. I’m extremely frustrated. My job is suffering. I’m having trouble taking care of my live in parents. Most of the time I can’t even get my own housework done. I love my job. It’s not full time about 5 hours a day. I’ve asked my doctor twice to go to a pain management clinic and was told no. If there’s a non narcotic way to help me fine let’s do that. I not even given the opportunity. My specialist tells me to have pain meds to go see my family doctor. I’m in agony every day. Taking Tylenol increases the damage to my liver because I’m on methotrexate. I’m at a point of thinking of turning to street drug for relief although it wrong. I just can’t keep living like this. Cortisone injections I’ve had so many that my bones are now brittle. I’ve had 2 fractures. I know I’m not the only one. Some chronic pain patients are contemplating suicide. I’m not at that point nor do I ever want to be. That’s why I’m requesting a visit for pain management. I need help. Why am I being denied. Maybe it’s time to find another doctor. I’ve been labelled as an addict when I’m not I’m extremely cheap on pain meds. I’ve seen what these drugs can do to people. My doctor however sent a referral without my permission to go see a psychiatrist. How is that supposed to help. Yes I’m depressed now because I’m simply not functioning.

      • Rose says:

        AGREED! Why aren’t all us chronic pain suffers able to start some sort of class action? I mean is it not a violation of our human right to be pain free? The ” non narcotic” medication does not work and destroys your stomach and liver!

      • Kathy Huntley says:

        Thank you for speaking up for us who suffer with many chronic painS. Not just one. No way will an Eleeve or Tylenol take away my many pains
        I pray a lawyer with balls to take on the government will step u to the plate for us all. I have :
        Fibromyalgia. Osteoarthritis. DDD.
        Chronic Back pain.
        Hep C ( from a tattoo years ago ) which also causes pain
        My Dr. Said no. Hahahaha. I googled it and plan to show him on the 19th.
        IF any Lawyers are reading this please contact me.
        I cannnot and I will NOT live the rest of. My life in pain !

      • Scott Farraway says:

        Kathy please check out our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

      • Kathy Huntley says:

        Your right about what it does to your stomach & liver.
        I have been talking about a civil or class action law suit.
        I am in. 100%. But we must find A Lawyer with Balls to take on the government. Paid upon winning.
        Contact me and maybe we can get a class action law suit going.

      • Mary says:

        I totally agree. I’m so relieved to find out I’m not the only one in this world who feels like this. I also suffer from chronic pain and have been ignored by my doctor, I’ve been looking to see if I could find someone who would challenge our government and allow us the human right of life without pain. Plz contact me if you have found or want to find a lawyer with the balls to do this. Thanks!

      • Scott Farraway says:

        Rose we’re trying to bring people together at our Facebook page Chronic Pain Treatment Advocates.

      • Jan says:

        AMEN! I agree with you! I have tried all the OTC medications. They are a waste of money. We get lumped into the category of people who abuse their medication and that is totally NOT FAIR!

      • Me says:

        I have said much of the same to every doctor I meet. I have utilized and continue to use all the non pharmacological treatments and medications discussed and more. Physicians even scoffed at my use of cranial sacral therapy and now they’re suggesting Reiki? Over the counter drugs like Tylenol and Advil and NSAIDS have their own side effects and can cause permanent issues with the liver and GI tract. Suddenly all chronic pain patients are the dregs of society and addicts are getting all the attention. It’s now becoming impossible to find a doctor willing to treat a chronic pain patient never mind getting opiates or narcotics from one. Now it’s a bad childhood or mental disorder to blame for chronic pain. It would be all laughable if it did not mean that so so many people are now forced to manage their pain alone with a bottle of Tylenol and a pack of bandaids. Where is all the evidence for all of this change? Oh wait, there is none. That is the true reason pain management has always been so substandard, not enough is known about it. We are in an awfull lot of trouble when the medical field is believing junk science and social hype. Treat all patients as individuals and not one size fits all and maybe just maybe you will achieve some success.

      • Nonyabusiness says:

        Good one. They are scared to death, it is entirely political. Contain the illegal trade in narcotics. How are so many available? Out the back door of the pharmacy? I ended up going overseas for an MRI, saw a world class pain specialist & got the correct meds. Eventually those run out & you have to brave some asshole doctor in Canada. You can see the gears whirring – ‘just tell the patient no’. They are losing any respect rapidly. Not just in pain management either, many other fields.

      • Monica says:

        You are spot on! Pain suffers like my self chronic need advocates like your self and others…. I would like these so called doctors to live with my pain for just a month and tell me how they feel on a daily basis…. we chronic suffers can’t be ignored.

      • Kathy says:

        Thank you for your comment. Your so right and he should take his final bow and quit or retire or find another profession that does NOT include anything to do with ppl
        Living with severe chronic pain. He for sure is not the right man for this. If he believes what he just said then he believes in unicorns & the tooth fairy. We who suffer with Chronic Pain are praying to find a Good Caring Doctor who is willing to help us. If it’s opioids we need to give us the relieve we long for & the quality of life we dream about it’s sure NOT from Doctors who thinks like he does. He and many
        More like him maybe should stop. Vets get 87 hours of pain class. Doctors get 4 Hours. YES they only get 4 hours for pain in medical school. But a vet gets 87 hours. What is wrong with this picture. Don’t believe me google it.
        Maybe we all should start to get a Vet for a pain Doctor and now how sad is that. ?

    • William Cowdy says:

      Thanks for the wonderful recommendations Doc. But how about the poor bastard with post polio, fibromyalgia, arthritis, a non functioning left shoulder, a torn rotator cuff on the right shoulder, herniated and degenerated discs in the neck and lower back, among myriad other complaints. I have all of that and at age 71, no one wants to operate on any of it. I cannot use NSAIDS as they cause bleeding internally, and 1300 mg of Tylenol 3 or 4 times a day is not healthy. But then there is that wonderful physiotherapy or Chiropractic aid which MOST seniors couldn’t afford that you suggest. Take your head out of the sand, and realize that not everyone can afford or access the aid you suggest.

    • James Pookay says:

      I agree with your recommendation regarding keeping people at work or early return to work.

      At the walk-in clinic, I’m constantly being asked to give people medical leave for extended amounts of time without a clear physical limitation and patients that insist that they can’t return to work in any form.

      When I do grant leave, I find most people don’t actually engage in any active recovery activities or programs (physio, counseling, retraining, etc). They just seem to languish for weeks and months on end, don’t improve, but then show up on the deadline where there leave expires demanding more time off with no new recovery plan.

  • Ruth Dubin says:

    HI Ellen, I agree that the transition from acute to chronic pain can be prevented, and people living with chronic pain can achieve better quality of life and re-engagement in meaningful activities.
    As you know I got my start in chronic pain with a “slipped disc” and years of low back pain. What worked for me was to continue to go to aerobics classes, do my simple stretches and the pain eventually subsided to just a whisper that bothers me only if I sit too long.

    Likely genetics and the lack of severe childhood adversity, plus the financial stability to pay for a gym membership were in my favour.
    Fortunately Ontario is supporting the Chronic Pain Self Management program which we trialed in 2006-7, along with an exercise program at the YMCA which continues to this day.
    Our society is sedentary, with too much junk food (cheaper than vegies and fruit), and no gym class in high schools. A cultural shift has to happen to redress all these harms.
    So it takes more than a village to change our culture…Many hands make light work and a broad public health perspective is a must.

  • Ellen N Thompson says:

    The article does not reflect the realities observed thru 35 years in pain management. We do have the skill and knowledge to CURE most cases of back and neck pain with simple means if we provide effective therapies prior to 6 months ( post accident/ injury ). The long wait times quoted ensure the maximum number transition to chronicity. An Ottawa clinical project aiming to triage and treat individuals with spinal pain persisting beyond 8 weeks, but less than 6 months found that interventions such as tr. pt. and paravertebral inj. cured a high percentage of patients. Importantly, initial high levels of psychological distress disappeared as soon as sleep and normal function was restored.

    • Morgan says:

      Unfortunately that does not work for everyone! For me it was short term relief! It’s not a one size fits all!

  • Dr. Martin Owen says:

    This is why I have closed my practice to go into chronic pain medicine full time. I would love to see project ECHO or similar come to Alberta. Glad to see my Alma Mater, Queens’, innovating in this area. Keep up the great work.

    • Kathy says:

      We need More caring doctors such as yourself to care about us suffering Day & Night with chronic pain. Myself I cry and most days can NOT walk in the morning.
      My doctor has now since Quit being a family doctor to work palitive care At the hospital. He has another new dr there for only 6 months.
      I have to find a dr. I am terrified. I have no one , no where to turn.
      Can a new Dr. Deny me because of the meds I am on. ? Even know they also have patients wearing fentanyl patches ??
      Would they be that cruel and would a dr generally not accept anyone on high doses. I am aware I will be brought down. I have to accept that but I should not have to accept lowered WELL below what WILL still hopefully help me.
      Drug abusers have done this. And now we must pay the price. How fair is that. They go to detox or what ever. As we continue to suffer.
      I am so terrified stressed and getting depressed due to worrying if the new dr I am
      To see next month will not accept me.
      Can you help by letting me know what’s going on with patches and pain and the amount of medication is it being told by the government what WERE allowed for pain ? They are NOT Doctors!!! You ppl are. You went to school. Took extra coarses etc. For the government to now DICTATE what dr’s. Can and. And can NOT do or perscribe.

      • David says:

        Hi Kathy,

        I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. Sadly yes, doctor’s can refuse to take you because of the meds you are on. When I moved back to Timmins Ontario every single doctor refused to take me as a patient claiming it’s because I was on Fentanyl. Worst part was that 2 of those doctor’s were family friends in one way or another.

        The past doctor I tried to see here claimed it was because I was on Fentanyl and she didn’t want that prescription in her record. I agreed to quit taking it but she still refused. So I called her out on that because she was saying one thing but was essentially lying because it didn’t matter if I was in those meds or not. She finally got angry enough (because she knew I caught her in a lie) and said she didn’t want to take pain patients because of their “attitude”!

        And this doctor was a friend of my first cousin. I blame it partly on the government with their lack of knowledge about chronic pain and thinking we are all drug abusers. Concentrating more on what meds are being taken rather that how we can actually help peoples who’s lives are essentially not worth living anymore.

        Doctor’s also don’t have enough time anymore to actually help patients. They called spare maybe 10 minutes per patient which gets you nothing. Even specialists lack any care or concern for their patients for the most part. We might as well be leppers.

        I’ve been seeing doctors on and off for 30+ years for pain, depression and a few sleeping disorders and I’m no closing to even getting a diagnosis let alone proper care aside from some meds which barely help me through the day. I’ve tried committing suicide once when I was about 16 and once just a few years ago where I lost the ability to work and do anything other than later in bed all day. They warn about the dangers on Fentanyl but I had put on 12-14patches, mostly 75mcg and sadly that wasn’t enough. And it’s not like I abused it so my tolerance was just from taking the proper amount of what I was prescribed.

        Over the decades I’ve tried over and over to get help and have been on every antidepressant you can think of, Lyrica, Gabapentin, anti-convulsants, etc etc without any success.

        Im not at the point again where it’s just time to end it and finally be done with this hell on Earth. I’m waiting to get into a multi-disciplinary pain clinic and this will be my last attempt to get some semblance of a life back.

        Frankly it’s not hard finding a pain doctor or a sleep clinic but finding one that cares, doesn’t make assumptions and actually wants to try and help is a lot harder than you’d think. I’ve finally found a good sleep clinic but they don’t write prescriptions (he works in both the US and Can so spends all his time working on solutions and let’s the family doctor write the scripts). Only problem is that if you have a crappy doctor who doesn’t like writing those kinds of scripts then once again you are screwed.

        I have the same issue with my current pain clinic who doesn’t write scripts but makes recommendations to your doctor. See an ongoing issue here? Thankfully I should be getting a nerve ablation but that only has about a 50/50 chance of working and it’s not permanent.

        Well ive vented more than enough. I just wanted to give a glimpse of what it’s like to not only be a pain patient but have multiple issues and how the health system is failing everyone.

        So in a year I’ll either have had some results or I’ll be dead. At this point I’m rooting for death as each day is getting harder and harder to make it through. And I know for a fact that people have it worse off than me.

      • Terry says:

        Hi Dave. My name is Terry and I’m from Kingston Ont. I was on Opioids for pain for Approximately 40 years or more, then my Doctor passed away. I got a new one thankfully after a short time and they had no trouble giving me them again. They did it for another 6 to 7 years and all of a sudden they wouldn’t give me them. They sent me to a pain clinic which prescribed me Suboxone. Well that helped about as much as eating dog biscuits. I went back and told my FP that that didn’t work and I needed pain pills, but NOOOO she wouldn’t help me with them. If going to ask one more time for them and if I’m told no I will complain to the College of Physicans and Surgeons in Toronto.

      • Kathy says:

        I am sorry to read this as it sounds a little like myself. I was fine when I was on the proper dose of YES Fentanyl Patches. But my Dr has since brought me down twice now. Left me where I am at for the time being. He said before Christmas he was going to bring me down 10% every 2 weeks starting in January- he didn’t. Then next time he still kept me at the same dosage. Now when I see him in May I fear he will bring me down as always he mentioned it again. Also he said he does not want to lose his license. He is 70 years old, been a Dr for 40+ years. Not many years left for him. Now he is worrying about losing his job – seriously!!
        I worry every day is it going to be this time or this time. I showed him a piece a I saw online right from the 2017 McMaster opioids and it clearly says “ IF bringing a patient down on opioids and they are in more pain and have been using them for a number of years for chronic pain to Abandon and leave them on the dosage!! That was before Christmas & yet he still brings it up each visit. They made it a Guideline and NOT A Law !! Yet the Doctors ARE Being bullied into bringing patients down or off opioids. This is sadly not right. Why are we allowing this to happen. Why are millions of pain patients not getting out and protesting to this. Why are we allowing them to get away with bullying doctors with threats of firing them , taking their prescription writting of opioids away etc ????
        The Government did NOT go to medical school for years. They deny it has anything to do with drug addicts and yet most of the ppl over dosing are the drug addicts. As well it’s not the Fentanyl patches it’s the Fentanyl powder coming in from China and boughten online from China.
        They also do NOT mention the thousands of ppl who have committed suicide due to losing their opioids for chronic pain. Of course not. I am sick of worrying when my dr will start dropping me down as when that happens I have no clue what I will do. Right now he has lowered me to far and any further might make me think of suicide and I told him that. He says ohhh we been doing it wrong for all these years. Like hell they have. How could helping ppl with their daily chronic pain be wrong ??? How could ppl having a better quality of life wrong ?? He is buying into what the Government is telling him. Only a small few are telling it the way it is. If it takes some ppl a larger amount of opioids then so be it. Give it to them. If our pains not any better then WHY IN HELL bring us down or drop us all together. Why — because the government IS bullying them. To take away their licence or their rights to write opioid scripts or worse.
        So yes I hear what your saying here and I as you am using Fentanyl patches, but I have tried other meds. I use to take OxyContin till they changed them to oxy neo’s and then they No longer relieved my pain the way they use to. Had they not done that I probably would still be taking OxyContins. I actually would rather take them as they seem to work better and last longer. Patches are not all they are what they are cracked up
        To be IF you been on them a long time. As any other drug you build a tolerance and now a days they want to bring us down or even right off. How the heck are we to ask for higher do to that when your doctor is wanting to go the other way. To me and millions more ppl suicide might be our only way to stop our pain. Instead of ppl over dosing they will be having bodies everywhere from suicides and we can thank the Liberal Government for that.
        How could everyone be on 90 mg of morphine or less reguardless of weight, height , sex , etc. It’s IMPOSSIBLE!! But they seem to Think it’s right. I say one thing to that and it’s
        I pray for all of us who suffer with chronic pain and either do not get enough or get nothing. May something change before more ppl commit suicide!!
        And of course they have NOT put one persons name in the newspapers or on the news on tv. I wonder why— I truly wonder Why they haven’t.
        God Bless Us All.

      • Ellie says:

        Hello Kathy, I am in the same situation with my pain and my Dr. lowering the pain meds. I was referred to a pain clinic. There they suggested Steroid Epidural injections monthly. I researched this treatment and not willing to take the risk of becoming paralyzed and side effects. Also the ‘route via Epidural” for steroids is not approved by the FDA. It was also suggested Lidocaine I.V. infusions for wide spread body pain. I am considering it after I first research it. This would be for the Fibromyalgia I have. Good luck and now we have to be Pro Active and search out various treatment options for out selves, which is hard to do when depression also takes over. May the Force Be With You……

      • Belle says:

        Hi, I’ve suffered with chronic pain since 1991. A fall led to Fibromyalgia and later I had breast cancer, 2 surgeries, chemo and radiation which has cause muscles Etc. to shrink so right side is unbalanced. No one will give me anything stronger than Extra Strength Tylenol (I’m allergic to codeine). I have neuropathic pain in my right foot. I have tried CBD oil but it didn’t work $300.00 down the tube. Cannot take Gabapentin or Lyrica. I believe a positive attitude and prayer helps me but I’m at my wits end. Family doctor will not give me Hydromorphone (I had this after Cortisone shots by Rheumatology doctor), it helped me very much but it is addictive. I only take 1/2 tab. every few months when pain is severe. Demerol helped and Internal Med. Dr. told me I could take small dose if needed but again family dr. won’t prescribe. I know my dr. is looking out for me. I feel the Government should reinstate home care workers for free to those who cannot afford it. I used to get 4 hrs./wk. and they took that away. I am alone have to paid $20.00 for help with simple chores but no one wants to work. It’s ridiculous, and our Government has regulated every area of much needed care. I went by ambulance to Emerg. in Brampton b/c of pain Aug. 2018 and was told they don’t deal with that and suggested I see a Psychiatrist… wow! Thanks for sharing, frustrated and bewildered. Belle.

      • Nodscene says:

        Hi Ellie (and others who have replied),

        Sadly I’m not shocked at any of those stories and the worst part is that it’s only getting worse. Just read about what’s going on in the US and is essentially what the Canadian government is emulating.

        As for nerve blocks and epidurals (I get epidurals in multiple locations), I personally have to say it makes a substantial difference for me. Technically my Hydromorphone dose would still be considered high (21mgs of long acting per day) that’s only half the story and one that neither doctor’s nor pain clinics seem to understand is that each drug has a limit on it’s bioavailability (or amount the body will actually absorb and use). In the case of Hydromorphone, the rate is 51% +/- 29% (give or take a couple percentage points).

        This means that one person taking 10mgs may be absorbing up to 80% of the medication while another person is only absorbing around 20% so how can they set a specific limit on these kinds of meds

        While other opiods might not have that large of a spread, it still points to a serious flaw in their thinking.

        Another major problem is that they think one opiod is as good as another so I’ve read of plans that they will reduce the number of medication options since they are all essentially the same!

        I can pretty much guarantee that anyone with significant pain and has tried different meds knows that this is not the case. When I was trying to replace Fentanyl I was put on Morphine which did nothing for me. While I didn’t go into withdrawals it was one of the worst months pain wise ever. I literally almost didn’t make it (I still don’t have a doctor in Timmins so have to drive 8hrs to the family doctor I had in Toronto) so making any changes is never a quick process.

        Now with the Covid-19 epidemic, most if not all pain clinics refuse to do epidurals or any procedure that uses steroids as they may lower your immune system. So now once again those of us with severe chronic pain have fallen through the cracks as there are no provisions in place for such a situation.

        I’ll admit that even when I get my epidurals I’m still bedridden for the most part. Thankfully my doctor was willing to increase my meds but the don’t help nearly as much as the injections so now I’m suffering from areas which were previously controlled.

        A perfect example for me is what’s just happened today. I had to do some grocery shopping and by the time I got home and put the food away I was in pretty rough shape. Even with the extra meds I’m still feeling the effects of shopping and that was 5hrs ago and I even took the rest of my daily meds.

        One ironic thing I read lately is that vets get 5 times the number of hours being trained on pain management. Go figure.

        I’ve currently switched from Fentanyl to Hydromorphone (both long acting and breakthrough) which has helped but not nearly enough.

        I hope you and everyone else will have more luck than myself and will find some kind of relief. As for myself this is hopefully my last summer (won’t be for lack of trying that’s for sure). While I’ve been planning it again knowing I would be going through with it around this time (I managed to hold on the last year and year before there is no way I can do another year…. especially with the 8+ months of winter).

        I have no quality of life, no chance at one (can’t even take care of a pet let alone have a relationship etc) and my days are spent trying to distract myself from the constant pain. No one deserves to live like this and since people like us don’t qualify for MAID (the doctor assisted death) I have no choice but to take matters into my own hands.

        Whatever happened to a compassionate society/doctors/government? At least if I was someone’s pet I would have been euthanized ages ago because it’s the right thing to do.

        *for some reason my paragraphs got rearranged so please excuse any discontinuity*

      • Maddy says:

        yes, I agree. A lot more.

      • Audra Bortnikas says:

        Kathy’s post covered the most important points. What as chronic pain patients are we going to do about this? Time to fight back.
        Enough talk – it’s time to take action NOW – TODAY. Anyone interested in pursuing this?

    • Andrea Furlan says:

      Dr Owen, we can help you to bring Project ECHO to Alberta. Contact me at

    • Kathy says:

      Are you in Ontario ?
      In the Collingwood area by any chance ?

    • Kathy says:

      Are you in the Collingwood area in Ontario by any chance ?

    • Laurie says:

      In reference to Kathy suffering from chronic pain. Hats off to you, I couldn’t have said our situation is more alike than I care to admit! Everything you said in your article resognates with me so much and while these dr.s are trying to help, the govt is stepping in and more or less taking our life line away from us as humans and dictating to the dr.s that the best course of pain control is to remove opioids which has reverted me back by 20 years of severe 24 a day withsevere suffering because they cannot get under control of something , they started giving people, who do not need require opioids, apposed to people who legitimately have a condition that is not going anywhere. We the legitimate long term sufferers are being targeted as drug addicts now and being taken off of life support so that they can keep face for making the huge mistake of giving someone who is having miner surgery or something that is not a lifelong sentence. These family physicians as well , need to educate themselves further, so at least there is some compassion there as they really, honestly …. don’t know what they can do for you. It truly is a bother to them to take on someone who requires slot more attention and time than your average healthy human being and it’s at the point now that they are afraid to continue with a dose of narcotics , so that the patient can at least have some semblance of a life . Please let me know what you people think about chronic pain control , and how family physicians are handling this crisis that. They basically created. Thankyou to all of you wonderful people out there going through the same horrible existence I suffer from and Ottawa really does not offer pain care management. I have been on the waiting list to see someone for 4 years now Too be honest…. they more than likely have list it or forgotten about it. This is also coming from someone who has been through the gammit with the medical profession since the age is 13 and I am now 60 and still nothing has ever been under control like I had hoped for so so so many years ago when I had faith in the medical profession…., because like with tens of thousands of people looked at Dr .s as they took an OATH TO PRESERVE LIFE to the best of there abilities not to turn its back on its patients because of govt agency dictating to them what they are and are not allowed to treat a patient not because they have been educated about the subject but because they are told that. They may suffer consequences should they agree with an entity that going forward, really knows nothing about Chronic Pain and just want us patients to go back under our rock and suffer in silence, like we have been for the better part of 40 + years.

  • Karen says:

    Great piece!

  • Julie Carl says:

    What good news that there are workshops for chronic pain. I never knew that and I suspect most people do not. That’s news you can really use.

  • Hillel M. Finestone says:

    Great job. Very interesting information that needs to be out there, to stimulate more dialogue about the lack of services for patients who are experiencing chronic or even just beginning pain. Thanks for quoting me. For the record I am “Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa”.


Karen Palmer


Karen is the Destination Development and Marketing Coordinator at The Corporation of the County of Prince Edward.

Joshua Tepper


Joshua Tepper is a family physician and the President and Chief Executive Officer of North York General Hospital. He is also a member of the Healthy Debate editorial board.

Sachin Pendharkar


Sachin Pendharkar is a respiratory and sleep doctor and an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary.

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