“I no longer feel stuck with the pain. Now, I have the confidence to know that I can manage my pain on my own.”
Rosalind Gill struggled with chronic hip pain for years and even feared she would need a hip replacement before finally receiving a diagnosis – fibromyalgia. A complex chronic condition, fibromyalgia causes musculoskeletal pain that can be difficult to manage. Treatment often involves medication but Rosalind was hoping to find a more holistic approach.
“After receiving my diagnosis, I began looking for alternatives to drug therapy,” she says. “I wanted to find a clinic that supported my desire to manage my pain without medication. That’s when I was referred to Women’s College Hospital’s Toronto Academic Pain Management Institute.”
Rosalind enrolled in the Institute’s Pain University program – a nine-week course designed to help patients with chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia understand where their pain comes from and how it can be managed using a combination of approaches including exercise, cognitive behavioural therapy, and lifestyle changes. A revolutionary component of the course is its focus on educating patients about their pain – an aspect of treatment that is often overlooked.
Research shows that for people who are dealing with complex chronic pain conditions, medication alone may not have the best results. Dealing with chronic pain can cause feelings of depression, anxiety and despair – feelings that only further aggravate occurrences of pain. Through TAPMI’s multidisciplinary approach to pain management, patients are educated on a variety of tools they can use to manage their pain.
“The TAPMI team works diligently and seamlessly to enhance the patient experience, incorporating evidence-based knowledge with pragmatic life solutions to educate patients on how to manage their pain at multiple levels using a variety of tools and techniques,” says Hari Gopalakrishnan Nair, a physiotherapist at TAPMI.
“With these tools, patients begin to realize that their pain is actually something they have control over.”
This was a realization that was particularly helpful to Rosalind. “After going through the Pain U program, my outlook on my pain really changed. I’ve developed a new relationship to it and the program has really helped to reduce the despair I was feeling about my pain,” she says. “I feel empowered by the education and tools I received.” When asked what impact the program has had on her life, Rosalind shared that it has given her hope. “I no longer feel stuck with the pain. Now, I have the confidence to know that I can manage my pain on my own.”
Listen to more of Rosalind’s story here.