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The Pain Pod
Chronic Pain Association of Canada
Are you ready to know what you don’t know about chronic pain? We’re shining a light on the good, the bad, and the very ugly about living with pain in Canada. No hype, no hysteria, just the truth.
Mar 18, 2023
How are YOU sleeping?
What science has shown will blow your mind - maybe even enough to have you running for a "sleep coach". YES that's a thing so get in the know! Listen to a sleep expert tell you what you never dreamt you never knew about your own sleep—including how it affects your pain.
1 hr 5 min
Dec 19, 2022
Are you a candidate?
How much do you know about the role of physiotherapy for chronic pain? What can recovery mean? Nathan Augeard is on a mission. A physical therapist in Quebec, founder of Physio Connection, and PhD candidate at McGill university, he aims to improve how physiotherapy students learn to help manage pain throughout Canadian universities. WATCH or listen to our first audiovisual podcast!
Sep 24, 2022
Follow the science? Not if it's MME.
As you'll hear by all the paper-shuffling Josh does starting a few minutes in, when he's searching for the origins of MME (aka morphine milligram equivalents), he comes up with 'a whole lot of nothing,' just as he says. Really noisy nothing! And those chirping tweety birds you're hearing in the background? Are they those clouds of Looney Tunes 'circling birdies' that twitter above cartoon characters who've been bonked in the head? This stuff IS bonkers, after all.
Sep 1, 2022
By the numbers: exploding bad drug policy
Dr Nabarun Dasgupta studies drugs and infectious diseases in the Opioid Data Lab at the University of North Carolina's Injury Prevention Research Center. In the last several years, he's published groundbreaking epidemiological analyses that explode the myth that prescribed narcotics are driving the "opioid crisis." Dr Dasgupta says his passion is "to tell true stories about health with numbers" drawn from field research, large database analytics, lab investigations, randomized trials, and community-based interventions. Learn the facts about the causes of drug overdoses from an authentic expert who's passionate about the truth—and compassionate for all of us still devastated by a decade of bad drug policy.
Jun 17, 2022
"Central sensitization": is it real?
Lately we're hearing a lot about so-called "central sensitization" of the nervous system as an explanation for chronic pain. Is it real? Is it an excuse to keep people in pain away from treatments like opioids, or even to blame us for our pain? Today, Dr Andrea Trescot joins us from Jacksonville, Florida, with the 411. As past president of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, past pain fellowship director at the Universities of Florida and Washington, and now CMO of Stimwave, a wireless stimulation company, Dr Trescot takes pain pretty seriously. While she continues to see patients in Florida and Alaska, she never stops speaking and writing about pain treatment. Dr Trescot has written 150+ articles and edited three textbooks about it, and, for patients, has co-authored PainWise: A Patient’s Guide to Pain Management.
Apr 9, 2022
When the body attacks itself
Autoimmune disorders are complex, plentiful, often painful, and not well-understood. Maybe you've heard lately that "the body can't attack itself"? Wrong. Our inflammatory mechanisms—our bodies' built-in protections against disease—can go haywire and hurt us, with the disruption manifesting in at least eighty different disorders so far. Today we talk about the inflammatory process and its remedies with the renowned American pain specialist Lynn Webster. Board-certified in anaesthesiology and pain medicine and noted for his advocacy and compassion, Dr Webster has published widely on pain and its best treatments. We discuss interventions like diet and new drug therapies, and where sufferers can turn for help.
Mar 17, 2022
Malign US health policy set to re-enter Canada
Should Canadians care that the US Centers for Disease Control is revising its 2016 guideline for prescribing opioids for pain? That's the question we put to Barry Ulmer, the long-time head of the Chronic Pain Association of Canada. Listen up! In 2017, we found out the hard way that when it comes to "the war on drugs," what happens in the US doesn't stay in the US. With Canada's patients and doctors in the crosshairs again, the CDC is now taking comments on its final draft. Find out how to make your voice heard.
Mar 1, 2022
CDC guideline: 'Little Shop of Horrors' 2.o
Noted U.S. patient advocate Richard "Red" Lawhern tells us all that's wrong with the CDC's rewrite of its disastrous 2016 opiate prescribing guideline, just out for comment. According to Red, who's slogged through all 211 pages of what he calls this new "little shop of horrors," the rewrite will hurt even more patients than the original did—and even more doctors, too. Patients' needs, clinicians' expertise, scientific evidence: these still go unconsidered, as if the prescribing catastrophe of the last five years never happened, never mind the wreckage it's caused on both sides of the border.
Jan 12, 2022
Does gender make you sick?
If you identify as female and a patient, you've come up against preferential treatment—where men are preferred over women by clinicians (both male and female) and by the medical system itself. We speak about the age-old and still very current tradition of medical misogyny with the young woman who created The Happy Pelvis, and who's long experienced it herself. She tells us how her health has been harmed by misogyny, what clinicians actually say to their women patients, and how even you can hope for a Happy Pelvis and indeed a healthy body, despite the odds.
Nov 30, 2021
Josh Bloom: debunking the junk "science" of the opioid crackdown
Dr Josh Bloom, known for his witty and acerbic commentary on what's wrong with and even downright stupid about a lot of "science-based" policy, is the Director of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science at the American Council on Science and Health in New York. Josh has a PhD in organic chemistry, and no patience at all for the ongoing, supposedly evidence-based crackdown on prescribed opioids. He talks to us about how the facts of pharmaceutical pain relievers are distorted at the get-go by the very words policymakers and the media use to discuss them.
Oct 25, 2021
When pain means poverty
Did you know that the number one predictor of early death is poverty? And that chronic pain has a very high correlation with poverty? If you suffer chronic pain, you're likely to be poor. Simple as that. If your pain starts when you're young, Canada's systems—our not-so-"universal" health care and our so-called social safety net—pretty well ensure that you'll subsist far below the poverty line for the rest of your days. We talk with a man about his pain and the extreme poverty that goes with it.
Sep 24, 2021
Pain in an Outport
Severe pain. Isolation. Secrets must be kept. No treatment. How do you survive?
Aug 18, 2021
Noted US patient advocate "kicks ass, takes names"
North Carolina's Richard "Red" Lawhern, PhD has spent years debunking PROPaganda about the supposed dangers of prescribed opiate analgesics. His analyses show that they didn't cause the "opioid crisis," that "overprescribing" is a fiction, that both the US prescribing guideline and its Canadian derivative are shady business beyond repair, and that undertreating pain is deadly.
Jul 21, 2021
Cannabis, diet: do they work for pain?
Dr Mary Lynch has long advocated for treating pain well, whatever it takes — maybe even diet and cannabinoids. She's one of the founders of the Pain Medicine certification program at Canada’s Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, is a past president of the Canadian Pain Society, and is Professor of Anesthesia, Psychiatry and Pharmacology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where she works in the pain clinic at the QEII Health Sciences Centre.
Jun 29, 2021
What we lose when we undertreat pain
Harvard Law graduate Kate Nicholson served 18 years in the DOJ as a health policy and civil rights lawyer and is an expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act. When a surgical mishap immobilized her for 20 years, opiate meds helped her continue. Kate is known for her TEDx talk, What We Lose When We Undertreat Pain, leads the National Pain Advocacy Center (nationalpain.org), and sits on the CDC's Opioid Workgroup.
Jun 2, 2021
Back pain: “what you don't know you don't know”
Dr Stuart McGill's research investigated issues related to the mechanisms that cause back pain, and how to rehabilitate back-pained people into injury resilience and better performance. His advice is often sought by governments, corporations, legal experts, medical groups, and elite athletes and teams from around the world.
May 13, 2021
York U Researcher: How Ontario's Medical Regulator Devastates People with Pain
To complete her PhD in Sociology at Toronto's York University, Leigha has spent three years looking into the effects of Ontario's medical regulator and doctor watcher, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, to see how its policies on opiate prescribing for pain have changed—and why. Is the College helping Ontario's doctors alleviate suffering, or is something else going on? What she found is horrifying.
Apr 21, 2021
Inside the System: a Chronic Pain Doctor Speaks
Join us as we chat with a semi-retired pain physician and find out what, if anything, has changed in pain management over the last 30 years.
Mar 11, 2021
A discussion of how Friedrich Engels phenomenon of "social murder" is applicable today in health care and pain policy.