November 5-11, 2023, is National Pain Awareness Week.
Nearly eight million Canadians suffer from chronic pain every day.
Pain is a common part of living with many conditions, including arthritis, cancer, chronic migraines, Crohn’s disease, HIV, fibromyalgia, sickle cell disease, sleep disorders, and spinal cord injuries. Chronic pain—pain that persists for longer than three months—affects both people’s mental and physical health. Pain makes it difficult for people to work and hold down a job, maintain relationships, participate in their family and social lives, and has an overall negative impact on their quality of life. The direct and indirect cost of pain to Canadian families, governments and our economy is over $40 billion annually.
You can’t tell if someone is in pain just by looking at them. Whether you know it or not, someone you know is suffering from chronic pain. People of all ages—from infants to seniors—ethnic backgrounds, genders, and income levels across Canada experience chronic pain. But chronic pain disproportionately impacts people without adequate access to healthcare, including people living in poverty, people living with mental health and substance use conditions, people working in the trades, veterans, Indigenous people, some racialized communities and LGBTQ2S communities, people who have experienced trauma, persons with disabilities, and seniors.
But there is hope. National Pain Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness around chronic pain, its impacts on people and communities, and the ways we can improve our healthcare systems to better care for people living with chronic pain.
If you or someone you know needs help managing chronic pain, the Power Over Pain Portal provides access to free resources for individuals and healthcare providers in a one-stop shop. Resources include articles, videos, podcasts, courses, workshops, and peer support. You can also access 24/7 one-on-one counselling. For people in Ontario, you can find information on how and where to get treatment for chronic pain at Chronic pain clinics | ontario.ca
To learn more about what Canada can do to improve the quality of life and reduce the pain for one in five Canadians living with chronic pain, visit PainCanada.ca.
And donate to Federated Health Charities today to support the health of our communities.