Self-treatment for chronic pain headed to Prince Rupert

UVic and Self-Management BC are helping make sure long wait-times at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital can be a thing of the past

Self-management tools for dealing with chronic pain will be explained in a workshop coming to Prince Rupert from Feb. 23 - 26.

Self-management tools for dealing with chronic pain will be explained in a workshop coming to Prince Rupert from Feb. 23 - 26.

The University of Victoria (UVic) and Self-Management BC are helping make sure long wait-times at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital can be a thing of the past.

Prince Rupert has been targeted for chronic pain self-management workshops by John Murphy, Self-Management Programs coordinator, as one of the first northern cities outside Prince George and Terrace, to develop a sustained presence of chronic pain self-management workshops.

“It’s essentially an ongoing research project that continuously shows that participants that go through our workshop use the health care system, such as emergency-room and a specialist much less, after they’ve learned self-management tools,” said Murphy last week.

The not-for-profit organization, which has already delivered results-based workshops to 28,000 B.C. adults, has identified an estimated 60,000 similar patients in northern B.C. who could benefit from learning self-management tools.

Pain such as that found in the muscular-skeletal region, associated with aging bodies, through the workplace or in migraines are all treated under the workshop program.

The workshops last six weeks and are 2.5 hours per weekly session and available free-of-charge to any adult patient in need. The sessions include interactive, experiential and holistic elements to help patients better understand their symptom cycle.

Patients who have already completed the workshops have said that they have experienced positive behavioural changes and feel empowered, optimistic and hopeful for the future, Murphy explained in a press release.

“I had a fairly serious accident myself – a head injury, which resulted in concussion and a chronic migraine, and the reason I got involved as a volunteer chronic pain facilitator three years ago, is it actually helped my rehabilitation giving back to others and helping others … My vision for the north is to have a sustained presence in many communities such as Prince Rupert, Smithers and Dawson Creek,” said Murphy, adding that feedback from doctors in the Northern Health system have voiced their support because it relieves pressures on the health care system.

Prince Rupert chiropractor Dr. Richard Lutz said that chronic pain is one of the main things that Lutz and Marshall Chiropractors treats.

“Once you’ve injured a nerve area quite badly there are other things that can trigger [the pain]. It can be stress, it can be dietary things. Most of the time if we get resolution of the pain with our treatment, then we need to teach the people how to live avoiding that trigger again,” said Lutz.

“Every profession, every workplace has its problem. Nowadays, we’ve all become specialists. We do one thing … our body was designed to perform a diverse range of physical activities. We’ve all gotten into doing that repetitive thing over and over again, using only one group of muscles,” he continued.

Currently, UVic is looking for program leaders interested in forming a dedicated volunteer-team who will offer UVic self-management workshops on a regular basis within Prince Rupert.

Awaiting candidates is a free, four-day chronic pain leader-training workshop coming up this Feb. 23-26 or later in April. Those completing the training will gain their Program Leader certification from UVic and partner Stanford University, with a Diabetes and chronic disease cross-training following later in the year.

For more information or to sign up to be a program leader, visit www.selfmanagementbc.ca or call toll-free at 1-866-902-3767 to register.