The problem that Employers and employees face with chronic pain


Our Core Purpose Is to teach our clients on how their bodies move and function. That the body’s has a unique ability to heal itself. Then through gentle exercises, restore their function and return to health.

The statistics

18%: Canadians who suffer from chronic pain

33%: Canadians with chronic pain who say they have lost a job because of it

13%: Chronic pain sufferers who say they have lost hours at work because of it

4.6: Average number of hours a week of lost productive time

28.5: Average annual number of work days absent because of chronic pain

47%: Sufferers who have had their responsibilities reduced because of chronic pain

49%: Those who have seen their annual income drop as a result of chronic pain

$12,558: Average income drop

$23-billion: Annual lost wages by those who have become unemployed because of chronic pain

$14.7-billion: Annual lost productivity costs as a result of employees having to take time off because of chronic pain

30%: Chronic pain sufferers who become depressed or have other mental health problems as a result

Sources: Nanos Research, Donald Schopflocher, research statistician, University of Alberta, Dr. Mary Lynch

Nearly one in five Canadians – 18 per cent – suffers from chronic pain, according to a 2008 Nanos Research survey of 4,000 Canadians, which defined it as moderate to severe pain lasting more than three months.

It can, in fact, go on for years. And it takes its toll. The Nanos survey found employees with chronic pain missed an average of 28.5 work days a year. The national annual average for work absences, according to 2008 Statistics Canada figures, is seven days.

Nearly half of sufferers in the survey – 47 per cent – said their job responsibilities had been reduced, and a third said they had lost a job. As well, nearly half said they seen their annual income drop as a result of their pain, according to Nanos.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for workers with chronic pain, Mr. Ulmer says, is hanging on to their jobs. They are often let go because they call in sick more frequently. Even when they do hang on, sufferers often find their careers stalled as managers stop sending important projects their way and they gain a reputation for being unreliable, the experts say.

“The problem is that, even when they’re at work, they’re often not fully productive because their pain makes it hard for them to focus on their work, or they have physical limitations that prevent them from performing certain tasks that would normally be part of their job description,” he says. “So they become perceived as slackers and complainers.”

Dr. Mary Lynch, director of the pain management unit at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, says it’s not unusual for workers with chronic pain to be ostracized by other employees.

“This may be due in part to the fact that pain is invisible and many people can’t imagine what it’s like being in pain all the time,” says Dr. Lynch, who is also president of the Canadian Pain Society.

“So they start thinking that their co-worker who keeps leaving early because of chronic pain must just be malingering to avoid doing work. And that just adds another layer of suffering for a person who is already in a lot of pain.”

Some workers prefer to hide their pain from bosses and co-workers. “They may be afraid they’re going to be stigmatized, and seen as a liability rather than an asset,” says Debra Wolinsky, senior director of clinical operations at employee assistance program provider PPC Worldwide Canada EAP Services Ltd. in Burnaby, B.C. “And some people just don’t like talking about their health issues at work because they see it as a personal matter.”

It’s not surprising that many people with chronic pain – close to 30 per cent, according to Nanos – also become depressed or experience other mental health problems, Dr. Lynch says. “This can make them even more withdrawn and isolated.”

Understanding why we’re in pain and the foundational approach of a prescriptive postural exercise program for pain & performance.

The key to the body’s physical health is motion. From the earliest stages of childhood development–crawling, to walking, to running–motion not only develops us, but also maintains and rejuvenates us. Every human has a similar musculoskeletal design which is not complicated or fragile. We are designed to run, jump, climb, dance, fall, and move through our physical world without fear of pain or limitation.

When the human body is deprived of motion, or when motion is restricted, our bodies become posturally dysfunctional. This leads to restriction of activities and/or the presence of pain.

As structural or postural muscles become dysfunctional, the whole skeletal system is affected. The skeleton is then subjected to stress and abnormal wear. The hip girdle changes its tilt, the back changes its curve and the whole body begins to compensate for the misalignment.

Each day Pep (Prescriptive postural exercise program) helps countless people free themselves of chronic physical pain such as: TMJ; carpal tunnel; neck, back, knee, and shoulder pain; and a myriad of other ailments. Pep helps people of all ages regardless of their athletic background, while numerous professional athletes us it to enhance their performance and extend their careers.

Pep’s hands off approach to corporate wellness

Yes Pep’s approach to rehabilitation, exercise and performance is hands off. Understanding that our pain is due to the loss of our born postural blueprint, it would only make sense that it is through movement, that function can be restored  as well regain our postural alignment. Stretching, strengthening and positioning, are the movements or what we call P-cises that are arranged in order to regain that blueprint.

Pep’s corporate approach for results and convenience

  • Prevention-Pep’s first line of defence
  • Instant symptom management access
  • Personalized menu design for specific multiples of pain
  • Personalized one-on-one menu design through Skype or in house

Prevention-Pep’s first line of defence

Pep’s group setting of a postural exercise class is a first in Canada for the prevention of musculoskeletal pain. We have listened to our corporate clients and have heard what are the present difficulties with teacher based exercise programs.

  • The teacher can only come at designated times which can exclude employees because of their present schedule
  • The frequency of the class is restricted by time and excessive fees
  • There is no present class in Canada that is taught by a recognized postural specialization or certification
  • If the teacher is sick , has vacation or faced with outside stressors there is no class

Prevention and Pep’s technology

Realizing the above issue’s we are presently involved in developing On the prevention approach  PGE (pep group exercise) will be offered on screen in a designated room. The PGE room or area depending on how organic the corporation is. Eight hundred square feet, plus or minus and depending on the area available and the amount of employees is recommended. Now employees can access their favourite workout any time, for as long as preferred and multiple variations of a postural workout available. As therapists we believe in a total postural approach. But we realize that there is a introduction and acceptance period. So we will provide a class of PGE for relaxation on particular stressful situation where employees need to replenish in order to re-connect. There will be PGE classes with HiiT (high intensity interval training), PGE + Strength, PGE +Endurance, PGE + Boot Camp and specifically designed if employees have requests.

With P4P-e now there are NO limits. NO designated times, unlimited frequency, now available in Canada and no sick days! Now corporate teams, team building, after work, before work or anytime P4P-e will be available at any time.

Instant pain symptom management access

What we advise, if possible, is one room for PGE and a second room for PR or postural rehabilitation. One hundred and fifty square feet can accommodate 2-3 people doing their postural exercises at once and of course be bigger again depending on space available and total employees in the corporation. Pain symptom management is for employees in the early stages of musculoskeletal pain. Someone that recently hurt their back, shoulder, ankle, neck, etc. The employee will for to website to the corporate page where they will enter their corporate company password. Then they will scroll to the pain area body map. Enter their e mail address where a menu or a video will be sent to their phone, I pad or computer. The phone is the easiest application where they can now go to the PR room and do their P-Cises to get pain relief.

Personalized menu design for specific multiples of pain

This service is for the employee that suffers from continued pain. Where the employee must take 4 pictures of their posture. Men in just shorts and women in shorts and tank top or a camisole meaning a shirt that reveals the shoulders and their position. These pictures are sent to a specific e mail address where the pictures are analyzed by their position and a postural menu is sent. The employee can perform the postural rehabilitation menu either at home or at work depending on the policies and procedures of the company. This service is for the employee that wants to address their pain but is an introduction to the method. There is no guidance or coaching with the P-Cises and is formulated based on their postural position alone.

Personalized one-on-one menu design through Skype or in house

This is the most conclusive and fundamental approach to assessing, evaluating and coaching clients/patients suffering in chronic pain. The client is evaluated through their postural pictures, evaluated on their restrictions through functional testing, gait analysis and hip/pelvic palpation. This gives the postural therapist a thorough map on what is the dysfunction and compensating factors. This one on one service can be offered (only in Montreal) in office, in home or in clinic. Pep therapy also does travel clinics, If your company is outside Montreal Quebec ask us about our travel clinic available in Canada coast to coast. Otherwise the closest second therapy option to one on one is a Skype or Facetime session. This service is also very accurate and gives the therapist three methods of evaluation. Skype or facetime gives us the limitless possibility of reaching out further.


Find out how you can begin a successful experience with Pep 4 pain