Musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain among working patients

Session details




Zoom videoconferencing

Didactic presentation by:

Andrea Furlan, Lynn Cooper

Session objectives

At the end of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe an approach to examine a person with a musculoskeletal problem
  2. Explain the indications of opioids for nociceptive, neuropathic and nociplastic chronic pain
  3. Cite 10 evidence-based treatments for low back pain
  4. Understand the impact of working with chronic pain on the person

Session resources

Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) Foundation
Founded in 1918, the CNIB Foundation is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today by delivering innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empowers people impacted by blindness to live their dreams and tear down barriers to inclusion. This work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners from coast to coast to coast. Source: CNIB
Didactic presentation: Musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain among working patients
In this session, Dr. Andrea Furlan discusses an approach to examining a person with musculoskeletal problems, explains the indications of opioids for nociceptive, neuropathic and nociplastic chronic pain, cites evidence-based treatments for low back pain, and discusses the impact of working with chronic pain on the person. Lynn Cooper, BES, brings the lived experience of persistent pain from a work injury to the didactic presentation.
Occupational Therapy and Vision Rehabilitation Network
Occupational Therapy and Vision Rehabilitation Network (OTVRN) is a network within the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) dedicated to advocating for equal access to quality occupational therapy services among those with visual impairments. Source: Occupational Therapy and Vision Rehabilitation Network
Pre-return-to-work medical consultation for low back pain workers. Good practice recommendations based on systematic review and expert consensus
See the description of the flag system which was discussed in the didactic presentation (section 3.2). Source: Musculoskeletal Key
The Effect of Decreased Near Visual Acuity on Ishihara's Test for Color Blindness
Chen AA. The Effect of Decreased Near Visual Acuity on Ishihara's Test for Color Blindness. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3869.
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada
Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada (VLRC) is a not-for-profit national healthcare organization and the leading provider of rehabilitation therapy and healthcare services for individuals with vision loss. Source: Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada

About presenter

Dr. Andrea Furlan is a scientist at the Institute for Work & Health and a physician and senior scientist at the KITE Research Institute at University Health Network. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Physiatry at the University of Toronto.

Furlan is an expert in rehabilitation medicine, chronic pain, systematic reviews, clinical practice guidelines, opioid treatments, cannabis and cannabinoids, and the implementation and evaluation of ECHO projects. Furlan was the first person to bring an ECHO project to Canada in 2014, on chronic pain and opioid stewardship. She has since helped many groups in Ontario start ECHO projects for conditions such as rheumatology, liver disease, epilepsy, mental health, children’s health, care of the elderly and wounds.

Furlan completed her residency in physiatry at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and obtained a PhD in clinical epidemiology from the University of Toronto. She completed a two-year clinical fellowship in physiatry at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Furlan received the Canadian Pain Society’s Excellence in Pain Mentorship Award in 2021 and the Pain Excellence Award from the Pain Society of Alberta in 2020.

For more than 20 years, Lynn Cooper has been a national pain community leader, spokesperson, advocate, and educator, working toward improving pain management for Canadians. As a person with lived experience in workplace injury and persistent pain, Lynn advocates for the voices and perspectives of people with pain to be imbedded in research, policy discussions, and initiatives that will create solutions for more effective and compassionate pain care. She served as a voting member of the 2017 Canadian Opioid Guidelines and on Health Canada’s scientific review panels regarding opioid prescribing. Lynn currently participates on research teams that (1) investigate the efficacy of pain education methods for patients and health professionals, (2) study ways to improve pain care delivery systems, (3) develop online pain education modules for patients, and (4) develop clinical practice guidelines for opioid and cannabis prescribing for chronic pain. Lynn is the Director of Research and Education for the Canadian Injured Workers Alliance. In this capacity she leads projects that connect pain management and education within stay at work/return to work planning and identify the impacts of COVID 19 on injured workers. Lynn served on the SPOR Chronic Pain Network steering committee. 

Case presentations

Most of the learning in ECHO happens through presenting and discussing case presentations. If you have a case you would like to present, please submit a completed case presentation form to the ECHO OEM project coordinator.

Physicians presenting a case may bill OHIP for case conferences (billing codes K707 or K701).