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September is

Pain Awareness Month

The month of September has been declared Pain Awareness Month. Pain Awareness Month is a time when various organizations work to raise public awareness of issues in the area of pain and pain management. 

The first Pain Awareness Month was in 2001, when the ACPA led a coalition of groups to establish September as Pain Awareness Month. ACPA established Partners for Understanding Pain and 80 organizations, both health care professionals and consumer groups, including the NAACP supported the effort. 

Click here to read more about the history of Pain Awareness Month

National Pain Awareness Mission

  • Create greater understanding among health care professionals, individuals and families who are struggling with pain management, the business community, legislators, and the general public that pain is a serious public health issue;

  • Offer a comprehensive network of resources and knowledge about issues in pain management through the members, each of which brings its unique perspective to the dialogue;

  • Build understanding and support that can help people with chronic, acute and cancer pain lead better lives.

  • The constant threat of physical pain is difficult for anyone to deal with, but particularly so for young adults.To help adolescent learn to cope with their pain, the ACPA is forming a support group for children and teenagers in chronic pain. Recent epidemiological data have made nonsense of the prejudice that chronic pain is a uniquely adult problem. Chronic and recurrent pain in children and adolescents is now known to have a point prevalence of at least 15%.

      Goodman JE, McGrath PJ. The epidemiology of pain in children and adolescents: a review. Pain 1991;46: 247-64. [PubMed].

To learn more click here. And to get your free poster click here.

The Art of Pain Management

People with pain often comment that they find their experiences beyond expression. Talk therapy has been  exhausted. There are no words to describe the journey they have taken. Both drawing and painting are an effective way for people with pain to express their level of suffering or the type of pain they are      experiencing. However, art is not limited to drawing and painting. One can sculpt, use objects to create collages, or even finger paint to express your emotions. Even cooking is an art! The ACPA has developed this resource full of art project suggestions, words of encouragement and information regarding music therapy.

Barriers to Pain Management

        Stress plays an important role in pain management.Your level of pain can be affected by the amount of stress                you experience.While your pain is of physical origin, many other areas of your life play a role in your overall

        well-being.

Types of Potential Pain

Low back pain is the fifth most common reason for all doctor visits in the United States. Many people who    experience minor episodes of low back pain do not seek medical care. Those with low back pain

         who see their doctor typically return to work within one month of injury.

  • 1/3 report still having back pain one year after the pain began

  • 1 in 5 are limited in their activity due to their low back pain

  • The 5% of people who are disabled by their back pain account for 75% of the total cost associated with low back pain.

  • To learn more click here.

If your healthcare provider has suggested an implantable device, such as a medication pump or neurostimulator, you probably have lots of questions. Your own healthcare provider is the best source for answers that apply in your unique situation, but this video series provides some basic information to get you started. Watch the video here.

Implantable Devices

 

If your healthcare provider has suggested an implantable device, such as a medication pump or neurostimulator, you probably have lots of questions. Your own healthcare provider is the best source for answers that apply in your unique situation, but this video series provides some basic information to get you started. Watch the video here.

Self-esteem and Empowerment

 

Chronic pain can be overwhelming and take away a large portion of your identity, your freedom and in many cases your personhood. Pain can rob you our self-esteem.To help you regain a sense of self-esteem and empowerment the ACPA provides you with your basic rights. Visit this website for YOUR basic rights.

Medication Management

 

It can be overwhelming, trying to manage your medications. But did you know that you already have a specialist in medication management on your healthcare team? It’s your pharmacist. Your pharmacist has two key responsibilities. First is the accurate and responsible dispensing of medications. The second is caring for you. To learn more click here.

Time Management

Time management is key to managing your pain.  To make the most of your time and still be mindful of staying within your limits, it is helpful to plan ahead. Whether it is small takes that might take a day or a larger one that could take a few weeks, you still need to plan.  The ACPA offers tips on time management to help you make the most of each day while staying within your limits.  Contact the ACPA to learn more at acpa@theapca.org.

Exercise

 

Most people with chronic pain dread exercise.  However, unused muscles feel more pain then, toned, flexible ones.  With your health care professional, identify a modest exercise program that you can do safely.  As you build strength, your pain will decrease.  You will feel better about yourself.

Diet

People say, “You are what you eat.” I am not sure if that is entirely true, but what we eat can definitely impact how we feel. Diet and exercise can also have a dramatic impact on our weight and increased weight can have a direct effect on our level of pain.

Coping Skills

The pain that you experience may not go away completely, but it is possible to lead a productive life in spite of the pain.It has been proven that pain management coping skills can, in many cases, decrease pain.There are no miracle cures for chronic pain, but there are, indeed, ways to cope with the problem. Learn more here.

Sleep

The problem with living with pain is that it tends to get in the way of everything, especially sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep—so simple in theory—is an elusive goal for many people who live with chronic pain. About two-thirds of those experiencing chronic pain report poor or non-refreshing sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.  Learn more here.

 

*Used with permission of the American Chronic Pain Association

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