The Most
Painful Podcast

This podcast covers all aspects of chronic pain by presenting evidence-based information that provides better insight into chronic pain. Recent Government of Canada research found that Veterans are twice as likely to suffer from chronic pain compared to others in the Canadian population. We aim to investigate how this impacts Veterans, and their families. We explore topics such cannabis and psychedelics, and do they help treat chronic pain? We also investigate back surgery, military identity and what military and professional athletes have in common with identity. The evidence-based information on the show will help Veterans, clinicians, researchers, and anyone suffering from chronic pain. It is a 360-degree approach to education on chronic pain.

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Season One
Episode Seven

"Low back surgery: Is it helpful or not? What else can I do?"

September 14, 2022

Research has shown Veterans suffer from chronic pain at twice the rate of the civilian population. Many Veterans and many listeners to this show suffer from back pain, many have asked does surgery help with back pain? Or are there other therapies which may help with back pain vs surgery? To help answer this question I am joined by Dr. Brian Drew.

Season One
Episode Two

“Is Cannabis an effective treatment for chronic pain?”

July 5, 2022

People who live with chronic pain suffer greatly and it impacts their quality of life. There are many treatments available and medications that will help people with chronic pain. One that’s been talked about over several years is cannabis. But does cannabis work? Is it effective? To help answer these questions, we’re joined by two guests: Dr. Jason Busse – Research Director at the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans and Bruno Guevremont – Veteran and member of the Advisory Council for Veterans.

Season One
Episode Four

"Where do you turn for chronic pain treatment?"

August 3, 2022

Chronic pain is pain that typically persists for 90 days and can also be associated with with a procedure or injury when healing fails to progress as expected. On this episode of the Most Painful Podcast we discuss inter-disciplinary pain clinics. Our guests are Dr. Ramesh Zacharias – CEO, President and Medical Director at the Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans Dr. Brenda Lau – Founder and Medical Director at Change Pain

Season One
Episode Nine

"Does sex and gender impact chronic pain?"

October 12, 2022

With so many veterans and family members suffering from chronic pain, how does sex and gender impact the research, assessment, and treatment of chronic pain? We welcome Dr. Stacey Ritz to discuss this.

Season One
Episode Ten

"How Is Chronic Pain Managed in the United States versus Canada?"

October 26, 2022

From our past show, the audience has provided some great feedback on how the information on this show has helped them. We have focused on chronic pain management in Canada, but how is chronic pain managed in other countries? Are the treatments the same? The US VA (United States Department of Veteran's Affairs) has changed their approach to how they manage chronic pain and to talk about this today, we are joined by Retired Sergeant General from the US Army, Eric Schoomaker.

Season One
Episode Eight

"Do psychedelics work for chronic pain?"

September 28, 2022

Suffering from chronic pain can have a severe impact on a person’s quality of life. Psychedelics are being talked about as a treatment to help people suffering from chronic pain, but does it really work? To talk about the effectiveness of psychedelics I am joined by Dr. Michael Verbora from McMaster University, Bruno Guevremount, a Veteran and consultant to the psychedelics industry and Arron Victory, a Veteran and consultant to the psychedelics.

Season One
Episode Five

"What do I do when I get out of the Military for medical care?"

August 17, 2022

Military members have all their healthcare needs taken care of while they are in service, but what happens when the members leave the military? How smooth is the transition to the civilian medical system? especially with a shortage of family doctors? How do veterans navigate the medical system to ensure they get the care they need for service-related injuries? What do civilian clinicians need to understand about this transition to better help their veteran patients? To help answer those questions we are joined by two guests veteran Brad White and Dr. Abhimanyu Sud.

Season One
Episode One

Military Veterans suffer chronic pain twice that of the general population

June 22, 2022

Many Canadians are living with chronic pain which impacts their quality of life. Studies have shown that Canadian military Veterans are twice as likely to have chronic pain compared to the equivalent Canadian population. In this inaugural episode of the Most Painful Podcast, the host Tom Hoppe will explore this problem with guest Dr. Ramesh Zacharias, CEO and Medical Director of the Chronic Pain Center of Excellence for Canadian Veterans.

Season One
Episode Three

“How does the "Mission First, Self Last" military culture affect a Veteran's pain management?”

July 21, 2022

When a person gets into the military culture, their identity changes, their mindset changes to mission-first, self-last. How does that impact how they manage and view chronic pain? In this episode of The Most Painful Podcast, we're joined by Dr. Melanie Noel – Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary, and Hélène Le Scelleur – Veteran, Recipient of the 2021 Capacity Building Initiative, and member of the Advisory Council for Veterans.

Season One
Episode Six

"Managing chronic pain and Operational Stress Injury (OSI)"

August 31, 2022

Research has shown Veterans who suffer with chronic pain may also suffer with an OSI injury. When one suffers from chronic pain and an operational stress injury it can severally impact quality of life and create stress within the family. On today’s show Tom Hoppe is joined by Steve Critchley founder of CanPraxuis a non for profit organization helping Veterans and their families who are struggling with chronic pain and OSI.

Season Two
Episode One

On the ice and in service – Athlete and Military Identity

November 23, 2022

In our first season, we talked to experts on the challenges of military identity on the healing journey for Veterans suffering from chronic pain. Military identity and mindset are important to work in a regimental institutionalized setting. Professional athletes have some of the same identity challenges. In the US, there is a program where professional athletes and Veterans work together to learn from each other’s challenges. What can Veterans learn from professional athletes to help them transition? Today on the show we have Cameron Gaunce who is a professional athlete and has insight into the identity challenges of athletes.

Season Two
Episode Seven

Intentional Breathing with Dr. Abhimanyu Sud

March 1, 2023

No matter what we are doing; eating, sleeping, walking or talking - we are breathing. Our breath is with us at every moment of our life. On today's episode, host Tom Hoppe is joined by Dr. Abhimanyu Sud, who explains the importance of yogic breathing when living with chronic pain. Included in this episode: An ujjayi breath exercise you can try at home.

Season Two
Episode Nine

Food is Fuel with Monica Szeliga

March 29, 2023

On today's episode, host Tom Hoppe speaks with Monica Szeliga, a nutritionist and registered dietician, on why food is fuel. They discuss the importance of not only what we eat, but also how we eat and why what we eat can affect our overall health, including our physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Season Two
Episode Two

The Impact Sleep has on Chronic Pain

December 7, 2022

Chronic pain can impact sleep and we have heard from experts that good quality sleep is important for our health. So, if someone is suffering from chronic pain what can they do to get better sleep? To talk to us about this today is Allison Gaudet, who is a physiotherapist who works with people suffering from chronic pain.

Season Two
Episode Eleven

Managing your pain daily; the physiotherapist can help you to help yourself

Please note this episode of The Most Painful Podcast is in French. To kick off this first season of podcasts in French, what better way to start than to suggest non-pharmacological ways of managing pain to veterans! In this podcast, we discuss with Nathan Augeard, a physiotherapist and doctoral student at McGill University in Montreal, the importance of rehabilitation and physiotherapy in the management of pain and how each person can try to manage their pain and minimize its impact on their daily lives. We also discuss the concept of a model used in rehabilitation that considers the whole person, the use of the biopsychosocial model and how physiotherapists use it for pain assessment and treatment planning. This podcast concludes with the importance of the physiotherapist working in partnership with the person in the treatment of pain.

Season Two
Episode Six

Veterans in the Media with Dr. Rob Whitley

February 15, 2023

On today's episode, host Tom Hoppe is joined by Dr. Rob Whitley, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, to speak about the impact the media has on Veterans who suffer from chronic pain. Dr. Whitley also speaks about the role of cannabis in treatment of chronic pain and the lack of knowledge within the healthcare system. Watch the 'Joint Forces: Cannabis Use, Chronic Pain and PTSD among Canadian Veterans' series on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKGu0ZIrR7Zy8wcPwM9Qekx2Mx5BqQsfb

Season Two
Episode 4

Chronic Pain and Mental Health - Part 2

January 18, 2023

Exploring the connection between mental health and chronic pain. In this and the previous episode, we will be speaking to experts on the connection between chronic pain and mental health. On today's episode, host Tom Hoppe welcomes Dr. Don Richardson - clinical psychiatrist working with Veterans and is currently conducting a research project on the connection between pain and mental health.

Season Two
Episode Eight

Safe Movement with Dr. Lindsay Rite

March 15, 2023

When someone is suffering from chronic pain, movement has been proven to be helpful in conditioning, recovery, and overall improvement in health. What needs to be considered is what is safe movement and how do you move when you are suffering from chronic pain? We need to make Veterans aware they must change how they approach physical training and that movement may be completely different from the movements they've learned in service. On todays show, Tom Hoppe is joined by Dr. Lindsay Rite, the director of Allied Health at CHANGEPain Clinic in Vancouver.

Season Two
Episode Five

Mindfulness

February 1, 2023

Mindfulness can play a key role in managing your chronic pain, specifically when it comes to orienteering your thoughts and emotions during your day to day activities to help manage your health. Today on the show, Tom Hoppe hosts Dr. Rahul Gupta to speak about physical and mental well being.

Season Two
Episode 3

Chronic Pain and Mental Health Part 1

January 4, 2023

Chronic Pain and Mental Health - Part 1 Mental health can impact chronic pain. In the next two episodes, we will be speaking to experts on the connection between chronic pain and mental health. On today's episode, host Tom Hoppe welcomes Fardous Hosseiny, the CEO of Atlas. Fardous Hosseiny shares about what ATLAS is and why it was established, the kind of research are Atlas is involved in, how Veterans are impacted and what resources are available to them. For more on the Atlas Institute for Veterans and Families visit https://atlasveterans.ca/

Season Two
Episode Ten

Francophone Military Identity with Luc Hébert

April 12, 2023

Every military member in Canada goes through the same basic training and methodology, which forms a unique military identity and culture. But how does your civilian culture also impact your military identity? Today on the show, host Tom Hoppe is joined by Dr. Luc J. Hébert to speak about francophone military identity and overall military identity and culture when it comes to research. We are excited to announce that Luc will be hosting our next two episodes of The Most Painful Podcast fully in French!

Season Two
Episode Twelve

A soldier who remains active despite an amputation, several injuries and chronic pain; yes, it is possible but how?

April 26, 2023

Please note this episode of The Most Painful Podcast is in French. In this second podcast of season 2, we have a very special guest who is not yet a veteran and who is on active duty in the CAF and knows first-hand what pain is and how it can have a huge impact on a soldier's quality of life. I am speaking with LCol Simon Mailloux, currently on exchange at the Pentagon as a staff officer with the US Joint Staff. During his first deployment in Afghanistan in 2007, young officer Mailloux was hit by an improvised explosive device and lost men under his command. He was severely wounded and suffered a leg amputation and multiple injuries. After a long rehabilitation and several months of arduous training, he was redeployed to the combat zone in 2009. In this podcast, we talk to LCol Mailloux about how he manages his pain daily and his strategies to stay as physically active as possible. We also discuss the military culture and its impact on pain management and the trust relationship with the clinicians who treat it, the perception of what a veteran is in 2023 according to the general population and the importance of military identity, but most importantly the impact of our own civilian culture on our military identity.

Season Three
Episode One

Athlete Identity – What Comes After the Game?

September 18, 2023

After the buzzer goes and its time to hang up your jersey, what comes next? On the season three season premiere, Tom Hoppe is joined by Leo Rautins, former NBA player and current Canadian broadcaster for the Toronto Raptors, along with Cameron Gaunce, a current professional hockey player. Tom discusses the similarities between military and athlete identity and why it is important for athletes and Veterans to discuss transition and mindset after their careers are over.

Season Three
Episode Two

Yoga for Chronic Pain

October 4, 2023

When someone suffers from chronic pain they may, look for alternative ways to manage the pain. Yoga is one of those ways, but does it really help? On today’s show, we will discuss the scientific evidence for yoga as pain management. Host Tom Hoppe is joined by Neil Person a physiotherapist and adjunct professor at University of British Colombia.

Season Three
Episode Three

Chronic Pain in U.K. Veterans - How is it different from Canada?

October 18, 2023

As Veterans and Canadian citizens, we are aware of the situation and treatment of chronic pain of Veterans in the Canadian system. But what about other countries? In season one, episode 10, we spoke to Eric Schumacher, a retired US Army surgeon general, about how the USVA is changing the way they treat chronic pain for Veterans. Now, we look to the United Kingdom. On today's episode, Tom Hoppe is joined by Dominic Aldington who is a pain physician in England and will talk about what the UK is doing for its Veterans.

Season Three
Episode Four

Cannabis or Opioids - What is More Effective in the Management of Chronic Pain?

November 1, 2023

Back in season 1, episode 2, we spoke about cannabis and if it's effective in the management of chronic pain. On this episode, Tom Hoppe is joined once again by Dr. Jason Busse who has just completed research comparing opioids to cannabis in terms of their success when helping manage chronic pain treatments. Listen to Season 1 Episode 2: Is Cannabis an effective treatment for chronic pain? https://www.spreaker.com/episode/51855162

Season Three
Episode Five

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

November 15, 2023

Veterans may be familiar with the term Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI with cases being linked to overseas deployment and roadside blasts, but what is a TBI? How does it impact a person? Is a TBI the same as a concussion? On this episode, Tom Hoppe is joined by Lyn Turkstra who is speech language pathologist and is conducting research about TBI and concussions in Veterans.

Season Three
Episode Six

Osteoarthritis

November 29, 2023

We know that Veterans live with chronic pain at twice the rate of the general population. One form of chronic pain that both Veterans and civilians live with is osteoarthritis. But, what can you do to treat or help people have a better quality of life if they have osteoarthritis? On todays episode, Tom Hoppe is joined by Dr. Eugene Maida who is with the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McMaster University.

Season Three
Episode Seven

Strength Training for Chronic Pain

December 13, 2023

Strength training helps maintain muscle mass, helps with balance, mobility, and longevity. However, when someone suffers from chronic pain how does that person do strength training in a safe manner? On todays episode, Tom Hoppe is joined by Leroy Ho, a physiotherapist, to help us understand the proper way to strength train when suffering from chronic pain.

Season Three
Episode Nine

Chronic Pain in Women Veterans

January 24, 2024

The 2019 Life After Service Study* shows Canadian Veterans suffer from chronic pain twice that of the Canadian population. The study also indicates women Veterans suffer from chronic pain twice that of male Veterans. But, how does pain impact women in service compared to men? To explore this topic in more depth, Tom Hoppe is joined by Luc J. Hébert, host of the French version of The Most Painful Podcast, and Hélène Le Scelleur, Co-Chair for the CPCoE Advisory Council for Veterans who is completing her Ph.D. on military identity. Other resources mentioned: *https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-vac/research/research-directorate/publications/reports/lass-well-being-2020

Season Three
Episode Ten

Military Veterans Alpine Challenge

February 7, 2024

Many Veterans suffer from transition, chronic pain, finding new purpose, losing community, and losing hope. We also see similarities with civilians who live with chronic pain. To aid with these problems, programs have been designed to help Veterans. On today's episode, Tom Hoppe will discuss a program he is involved with called the Military Veteran Alpine Challenge. He will be joined by three participants from the hike; Dr. Lindsay Rite, Synika Gee and Lauren O'Grady. More information on the Military Veteran Alpine Challenge - https://www.veteranschronicpain.ca/posts/canadian-military-veterans-bring-awareness-and-education-to-chronic-pain-through-annual-hike-event

Season Three
Episode Eleven

Doctor: Is the chronic pain just in my head?

February 21, 2024

When it comes to prolonged pain, you'd think that finding out what's mechanically wrong with your back would fix everything. What's more, in many cases, correcting the mechanics doesn't change anything, so the person who continues to suffer from chronic pain thinks that it's all in their head. So, is chronic pain really in your head? What if it's your brain playing tricks on you? In today's episode, Dr. Luc J. Hébert talks to retired Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. Markus Besemann, who served as a military physician and physiatrist for many years in the Canadian Armed Forces, and is now still a physician-physiatrist, clinician and owner of Beechwood Physical Medicine, a clinic focused on holistic musculoskeletal care for Veterans.

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