In 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association—along with other coalitions and organizations—declared the month of September as Pain Awareness Month. These associations aim to serve the community and raise public awareness for those who suffer from chronic pain issues and require pain management. Pain Awareness Month is a movement to help others recognize the difficulties of chronic pain and understand ways to support those who experience it. Get involved for Pain Awareness Month this September.
During Pain Awareness Month, the goal is to highlight how chronic pain conditions affect one’s quality of life. The American Pain Foundation reports that chronic pain affects over 40 million Americans every single day. Some people live with persistent pain that lasts weeks, months, or even years. One of the most common types of pain is joint pain. Joint pain is a condition that may require therapy, prescription medication, or steroidal injections. Treatment approaches tend to vary depending on the type of pain the individual is experiencing. Therapy includes options such as: manual therapy, physical therapy, cupping, occupational therapy, and dry needling.
The American Chronic Pain Association established Partners for Understanding Pain to educate the public as well as other health professionals and organizations. The personal, social, and economical impact of chronic pain, acute pain, and cancer pain costs over $100 billion annually, because it causes disability. Pain affects one in three people and affects most adults from the ages of 24 to 64. Here are some ways you can get involved for Pain Awareness Month:
Host A Fundraiser
Hosting a fundraiser for Pain Awareness Month may seem like a daunting task, but today, it can be rather simple. Enter a goal on a webpage and share it with your available audience. Online-based fundraisers have gained a lot of popularity over the last decade because of its reach and because of how easy it can be. Online platforms like GoFundMe, Fundly, and Facebook support crowdfunding and raising money for non-profit organizations, charitable causes, and even start-up businesses. The first step in hosting a fundraiser is to decide who will benefit from it specifically. Then, you can aim to drive their purpose. You can host a fundraiser for an individual that you know is suffering from chronic pain or you can choose an organization that helps chronic pain warriors. Other factors and ideas for fundraising include hosting an event, an auction, or a raffle that is open to the public.
Share Your Story
Understand that your story may not be like anybody else’s. Maybe you suffer from chronic pain or maybe you just know somebody who does. People are far more likely to support a cause for Pain Awareness Month when honesty and openness is present. Attach a name and a face. Make it personal, and people will connect. Share your story, because it is an act of courage, and also because it helps others living with the same reality. Normalizing chronic pain conditions allow others to feel comfortable about sharing their own personal experiences with chronic pain. Take ownership of how you feel and start establishing self-acceptance. Remind others that you can be strong even when you are vulnerable. Bring the subject of chronic pain to light and tell people what it means to live life with these experiences.
Discuss Recovery and Treatment Options
People who suffer from pain need support. When pain flares up, it is difficult to cope. Pain makes it difficult to get up in the morning, go to work, or leave the house in general. Sometimes, talking about the pain is not enough. If you don’t personally suffer from pain, start by doing research. Research available treatment options in your area. Reach out to doctors’ offices in Las Vegas and non-profit organizations. Start looking into what therapy can do for those with pain. If you know more about the subject, it will be easier to help someone. If you personally suffer from chronic pain, find your community. Talk to others who navigate life the way that you do. Search for support groups. Discuss your pain with your doctor. Connected people are happier, and it’s important to remind yourself that support is available. There are people who want to help you.
Debunk Pain Myths
There are lot of common myths and misconceptions about chronic pain. It is crucial to know them and prevent others from spreading misinformation. One of the most common myths about chronic pain is not being able to exercise. Mild exercise can actually help relieve chronic pain. Contrary to popular belief, pain is not always associated with getting older. Aches may be part of aging, but chronic pain conditions are not. Another common misconception is that everyone’s pain is the same. Chronic pain actually takes several different forms, whether that’s numbness, burning, aching, or throbbing. Do not view all pain conditions the exact same way.
Give people something to talk about for Pain Awareness Month. With so many outlets to use your voice, raising awareness can include a variety of different tasks. Make it as large as a fundraiser or as manageable as telling a handful of friends. No method is insignificant when it comes to educating the public. It is easier when you are well informed on the subject and have a handful of statistics and facts up your sleeve. Public awareness is not about having the biggest campaign, it’s about reaching as many people as you possibly can with the tools that you currently have. While it is great to go above and beyond, it’s more important to be realistic about your goals. Remember that every bit of effort for Pain Awareness Month counts toward a great cause.
For the month of September, highlight pain awareness and shed light on conditions that affect millions of people every day. Get involved in the chronic pain community and offer your time and energy. See what you can do for others. Make recommendations, give advice, and share your story. Do not fear judgment, and open yourself up to a combination of solutions: physical therapy, medications, exercise, or meditation. Diagnosing chronic pain can take some time and patience, and people are unaware that pain warriors may suffer from depression, lack of energy and even trouble falling or staying asleep. Do what you can for those who suffer from chronic pain this month.