The final report for the Canadian Pain Task Force was recently released. An effort by the Canadian government three years in the making, it lays out a number of recommendations to address pain experienced by nearly eight million Canadians that is linked to the lowest quality of life for all chronic health conditions, according to Pain Canada.
In fact, one in five Canadians live with chronic pain – covering all ages, genders, and backgrounds. However, it does not impact everyone equally.
“It disproportionately impacts children, seniors, people living in poverty, people living with mental health and substance use disorders, those working in the trades and transportation industries, veterans, Indigenous peoples, certain ethnic and racialized communities, LGBTQ2S people, those who have experienced past trauma or violence, persons with disabilities, and women,” according to the study.
Also noted in the study – pain has an economic impact on the nation – even just in 2019, health care and lost production costs totalled between $38 million to over $40 million.
“All Canadians, no matter who they are or where they live, should have equitable access to timely and evidence-based care and support. That’s why we’re asking for your help to make pain a priority,” Pain Canada appealed.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) joined other leading organizations, advocates and institutions to call for the implementation of “An Action Plan for Pain in Canada.”
The Canadian Dental Association is the national voice for dentistry in the promotion of optimal oral health. Oral health serves as an essential component of general health. The CDA is a federation of Canada’s provincial and territorial dental associations, representing over 21,000 practising dentists from coast to coast to coast.
Targeted recommendations from the report urge for national leadership to make pain a public health priority, equitable and timely access to pain care and support for all Canadians, improved education for professionals and the general public, greater investment in research to generate further understanding, better data collection, and equitable access to care and support for communities disproportionately impacted by pain. Those communities include Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, LGBTQ2S+ communities, people who use drugs or have mental illness, people with disabilities, workers, children and youth, women, people who are incarcerated, and veterans.
The CDA hopes to help address pain for patients.
“Three to 12% of Canadians suffer from orofacial pain, a condition characterized by the chronic presence of pain of the face, jaw joints and jaws. For many of these individuals, their dentist is the best person to help them manage that pain through a combination of approaches which may or may not include using medication,” said Dr. Benoit Soucy, Director of Clinical and Scientific Affairs at CDA. “Since there is no one-size-fits all approach to oral health treatment and pain management, patients are always encouraged to keep their dentist up to date on any changes in their health or current medications, and to talk about various options to safely manage pain based on their individual circumstances.”
Those who are experiencing oral or jaw pain in Ottawa should seek out the best Ottawa dentist.