The Power of Stories & Collaboration
Fall 2021 | Kootenay Boundary Care, Feature Story
Dr. Rodica Janz believes in the power of stories.
As a Kootenay Boundary physician with a passionate and dedicated focus on pain management, listening to and learning from her patients not only inspires her work - it’s a foundation of her practice.
By understanding each patient’s experience as the first step, she then tailors her approach to each unique chronic pain story.
She recognizes that the healing journey involves a team with the patient at the centre and offers a multidisciplinary approach at Solis Integrative Health Centre - a regional clinic, based in Nelson, BC.
“Chronic pain is a complex entity that affects the body, mind, and soul,” shares Dr. Janz. “It’s multifaceted and can affect so many systems in the body. When pain is persistent, it has a tremendous impact on well-being and quality of life”.
It’s a prevalent experience - one in five British Columbians lives with chronic pain - and the reality of coping with pain on a day-to-day basis can be overwhelming and isolating.
“It’s so important that patients feel heard and supported” she emphasizes, “when our experiences are met with validation and empathy it helps to create hope - and hope has a healing effect”.
Multiple factors - physical, physiological, and environmental - contribute to chronic pain and for most people living with pain, a combination of therapies and resources will have the best outcomes.
Enter team-based care - multidisciplinary practitioners, each with their own area of expertise, working together to provide treatment and support.
“As physicians, we know that this is the way that people get the best care and outcomes. It's especially important when it comes to complex health conditions like chronic pain," shares Dr. Janz.
This approach is the cornerstone of her practice with health care colleagues at Solis Integrative Health Centre in Nelson BC, where the team includes physiotherapy, kinesiology, massage, acupuncture, Indigenous medicine, and counselling practitioners.
Meet the Solis Team (left to right): Lindsay Morris-Fish (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Page Allison (Acupuncture & Athletic Therapy), Dr. Gretchen Andrews (MD), Sadie Glocker (Registered Massage Therapy), Susanne Morris (Office Manager), Natasha Edney (Psychotherapy, Chronic Pain & Mindfulness Course Teacher), Jessica Bamford (Indigenous Medicine), Jan Summersides (Physiotherapy), Jennifer Potts (Kinesiology), Lisa O’Grady (Physiotherapy & Physician Assistance), Michele Creak (Medical Office Assistance), Rosie Shine (Registered Massage Therapy)
While each patient experience is unique, Dr. Janz offers some guidance that can be helpful to those living with persistent and complex pain:
- Reach out for support. If you are living with pain, you don’t have to face it alone. Reach out to your family doctor or nurse practitioner. They can help with building a plan and team to support you.
- Patients are experts in their pain experience. Personal participation goes a thousand miles. Pain education, building new skills to self-manage pain, and accessing resources such as peer support and wellness groups can all help with regaining a sense of control and confidence over the impacts of pain.
- It’s a journey. The right combination of tools and therapies will be unique to each patient and discovering what works best can take some time and experimenting. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Don’t give up.
If you or someone you love is living with pain, you’re not alone. There are resources and supports to help. 'Living Well With Chronic Pain' highlights resources recommended by local practitioners and patients living with pain, as well as a link to a region-wide listing of health care providers with expertise and knowledge in working with pain.
For healthcare practitioners of all disciplines visit the 'Chronic Pain Tools & Resources Info Hub' for helpful team-based clinical tools, resources, accredited continuing education, and community of practice opportunities at your fingertips.
Dr. Rodica Janz has been practicing medicine locally since 2005. After residency, she set up a family practice in Nelson, while also working in the Emergency Department and delivering babies. It wasn't long before she developed a passion for supporting patients living with pain and now dedicates her practice almost exclusively to chronic pain management. She is a physician lead with The Kootenay Boundary Shared Care Chronic Pain project, an initiative aimed at a stronger regional care continuum for patients with chronic pain and improved access to multidisciplinary care in our communities.