Managing Chronic Pain

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

One in five Canadians is living with chronic pain.

Chronic pain weaves its way into relationships, career ambitions, and social enjoyment. For some, it can also be isolating. Family and friends try to understand, to be supportive, but they may struggle to comprehend the depth of pain.

So what is chronic pain? Our occupational therapists and case managers often look to a brief video to help explain this complex issue.

There are many strategies that can help to improve function gradually, while simultaneously managing pain. Coping strategies, sleep hygiene education, mindfulness techniques, and pacing, can help people living with chronic pain do more, feel better, and even experience more happiness and joy.

At Modern OT, we believe in a holistic, whole-body, whole-mind approach to understanding and treating chronic pain. Our Pain Management Program, offered three mornings per week for six weeks, centers around three principles: Learn – Do – Achieve.

  • Learn – Mondays – Educational group sessions on Mondays cover topics such as understanding pain, medication, nutrition, and managing sleep.
  • Do – Tuesdays – These are active sessions when we can introduce activities including yoga, aquafit, art, menu planning, and relaxation techniques.
  • Achieve – Fridays – participants are guided through setting weekly goals to implement new pain management strategies for positive outcomes in daily activity.  

This multidisciplinary program invites experts, including physiotherapists, psychologists, pharmacists, and nutritionists, to help guide group sessions.

Sarah Brownrigg, occupational therapist and one of the leaders of the group, reflects on the impact of past program participants:

I’ve felt such joy for participants. When I first meet them, they never laugh, rarely smile, and ‘I will never be able to…’ is something that I hear often. At the end of our six weeks together, participants are walking taller, smiling regularly, laughing together, and ‘never’ has been replaced by ‘I am.’

To find out more about our Pain Management Program, please click here.


Moulin, Clark et al. 2002, Schopflocher, Jovey et al. 2011.