Sudbury

Sudbury's pain clinic working to get patients seen faster

The chronic pain clinic at Health Sciences North in Sudbury offers physiotherapy and 'self-management activities' to help relieve pain while patients wait to be seen.

Pain clinic gets 1800 referrals since opening last October

The chronic pain clinic at Health Sciences North has received 1,800 referrals from Sudbury and around the region since opening in October 2018. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

The chronic pain clinic at Health Sciences North aims to see 90 per cent of its patients within six months of being referred.

When the clinic opened last October, it was flooded with referrals.

Wait times were between six and 18 months.

Jennifer Michaud is working to get patients in faster.

"We did have a whole lot of patients referred at once because this was a new chronic pain clinic that opened across the region," said Michaud, the clinic manager.

"There was an influx of people, primary care providers really looking for that additional solution for their patients. So it did take a bit of effort to manage that one-time influx of all of the referrals," she added.

Michaud describes chronic pain as pain for longer than three months that interferes with daily life. She says it prevents people from doing the things they want to do and it's hard on their self-esteem.

"It brings emotions to the table. Anger, depression, anxiety, frustration," she added.

Now, patients can see a physiotherapist within a short period of time and start what Michaud calls "self-management activities" at home to start taking control of their own care.

Michaud says this approach is being very well received.

She explains that just knowing the clinic has their referral and knowing where they are on the wait list can lessen a patient's anxiety.

Michaud says that the clinic has received 1,800 referrals from Sudbury and around the region since it opened. 

With files from Martha Dillman