We can help you access care for your chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as any pain lasting longer than three months. Whereas pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. With chronic pain, the pain signals remain active for months or even years. Pain is a very personal experience; it can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating.

Chronic pain may be caused from an injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. In some cases there may be no clear cause. Chronic pain may occur in a variety of locations in the body and for many different reasons including headache, joint pain, and pain affecting specific parts of the body, such as the shoulders, pelvis, and neck. Nerve pain, also called neuropathic pain, can also develop into a chronic condition.

Treatment Options

The goal of chronic pain treatment is to improve your ability to function and reduce your pain. There is no magic pill or “cure” for chronic pain. Treatments will be focused on practicing healthy habits, improving your coping skills, reducing stress, and improving your sleep so you can return to your activities.

Treatment plans that include the active participation of yourself, and a variety of healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, psychologists and social workers are the most effective way to reduce chronic pain and improving function.

  • Education

    Chronic Pain education is the foundation of all pain treatments. It provides you with techniques to deal with the impact of pain on your life including, frustrations, exercising, nutrition, pacing activity and rest and how to evaluate which treatment options are best for you.

  • Counselling

    It’s common for people living with chronic pain to experience frustrations, depression, anxiety, and mood changes. This can make it harder to manage your chronic pain. A counsellor may use treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you cope with your pain.

  • Physical therapy

    Exercise can have a positive effect on pain relief. A combination of general aerobic (walking, stationary bicycle), strengthening and flexibility exercises is most beneficial. A physical therapist can help you set goals and recommend exercises to help improve your movement and functioning.

  • Medical Therapy

    Medications can sometimes help control chronic pain, but they are not a cure. Medications work best when they are used along with other types of treatment including counselling and physical therapy. TAPMI also offers advice or treatment for patients with substance use disorder.

  • Interventional therapy

    Certain types of pain may be relieved through the use of interventional therapies. These therapies use techniques such as injections, nerve blocks, and nerve freezing to treat the source of the pain. This treatment doesn’t work for everyone and they work best when they are used along with other types of treatment, including counselling and physical therapy.

What is TAPMI?

Toronto Academic Pain Medicine Institute (TAPMI) is made up of the five major teaching hospitals in downtown Toronto. Across the five sites, we house leading experts in the field of chronic pain management.

Patients are offered a wide variety of interdisciplinary treatment options that are fully funded by OHIP, including:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Chiropractic services
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Social work

Patient referrals are processed centrally and patients can expect to receive treatment at any of the five TAPMI hospitals depending on their plan of care. Our providers communicate about each case to ensure patients are receiving the best care possible.

"What is TAPMI?" chart

TAPMI is the only comprehensive interdisciplinary, fully funded academic pain program serving as the hub for chronic pain care in Toronto.

Our Partners

A key feature of the TAPMI partnership is the hub and spoke model that enables the coordination and sharing of expertise at each of the partner sites that together make TAPMI a comprehensive chronic pain service.

TAPMI Services

The treatment and management of pain is complex and requires a wide range of programs and services to help those in pain function. The hub is created through sharing an interdisciplinary team (including nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology, and social work) with all TAPMI programs listed below.

The Hub is also managing the central referral process to ensure patients get to the right healthcare practitioners the first time.

  • CAMH

    Centre for Addiction and Mental Health CAMH’s Interprofessional Pain and Addiction Recovery Clinic (IPARC) contributes its expertise in managing a wide-range of chronic pain conditions in individuals who may have a substance use disorder, aberrant drug related behaviours and /or mental health issues. The program focuses on promoting function and empowering self-management in patients.

  • Sinai Health System

    Wasser Pain Management Centre, Mount Sinai Hospital The Wasser Pain Management Centre offers specialty programs including the management of widespread pain and neuropathic pain. The Wasser also offers unique programming for craniofacial pain and chronic headaches as well as pelvic, genital, and abdominal pain programs for both men and women.

  • St. Michael's

    St. Michael’s Hospital St. Michael’s Hospital offers services from its interventional pain program through the department of Anesthesia.

  • UHN

    University Health Network The Chronic Integrated Pain Program (CIPP) at UHN offers expertise across Anesthesia and Physiatry to support patients with widespread pain, neuropathic pain as well as unique programming for seniors with cognitive impairment or affective disorders where diagnosis becomes less clear and management more individualized.

  • WCH

    Women’s College Hospital Women’s College Hospital has expertise in interventional pain management. In addition, the TAPMI hub is located at WCH and will be responsible for coordinating central intake and triage as well as providing inter-disciplinary health services including nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, psychology and social work for TAPMI patients.

Get Referred

A referral from a doctor or nurse practitioner is required to be seen at TAPMI. They will assess if this referral is appropriate for our services.

At TAPMI your referral will be assessed by a nurse at our Central Intake and then sent to the appropriate site (one of five teaching hospitals in downtown Toronto) with the next available appointment. The site will contact you about booking your appointment.

If you would like to be referred to TAPMI:

  1. Print off the referral form and give it to your family doctor or nurse practitioner. They will assess if this referral is appropriate for our services.
  2. Your family doctor or nurse practitioner will need to fax the referral to TAPMI Central Intake at 416-323-2666.
  3. You will be contacted with an appointment by the site directly, and your doctor will be notified once the appointment is booked.

Your First Appointment

Your first appointment may be at one of the locations below and you will be contacted by the site with an appointment date and time. TAPMI is an interdisciplinary clinic with access to a variety of specialists so you may see more than one healthcare practitioner at different locations.

  • Location
    CAMH Interprofessional Pain and Addiction Recovery Clinic (iPARC)
    100 Stokes Street Toronto, Ontario M6J 1H4
    Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Logo
  • Location
    Sinai Health System Wasser Pain Management Centre
    11th floor, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X5
    Sinai Health System Logo
  • Location
    St. Michael’s Hospital Pain Management Service
    30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1W8
    St. Michael’s Hospital Logo
  • Location
    Toronto General Hospital Transitional Pain Service, Chronic Pain
    12th floor, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2C4
    416-340-4800 x2927
    University Health Network Logo
  • Location
    Toronto Rehab Institute Comprehensive Pain Program
    1st floor, 550 University Avenue, Toronto Ontario M5G 2A2
    416-597-3422 x4200
    University Health Network Logo
  • Location
    Toronto Western Hospital Main Pavilion
    1st floor (in the Pre-admission Clinic)
    399 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5T 2S8
    416-603-5800 x2308
    University Health Network Logo
  • Location
    Women’s College Hospital
    3rd floor, 76 Grenville St, Toronto Ontario M5S 1B2
    Women’s College Hospital Logo