Chronic pain negatively impacts the ability to perform day-to-day activities and affects quality of life. Getting the right and timely treatment and support can reduce the level of pain to a great extent. The month of September is observed as “National Pain Awareness Month (NPAM)” in the United States with the objective to create widespread public awareness about issues in the area of pain and pain management. Sponsored by the American Chronic Pain Association, the primary goal of this campaign is to educate the community on the severity of this health issue, spread awareness about treatment, and encourage community members to get involved with pain awareness programs.
Chronic pain – pain that persists for months or even years – is the number one cause of disability among adults in the United States. It can manifest as throbbing, shooting, aching, or burning pain. Reports suggest that chronic pain affects nearly 100 million Americans every year. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people in the U.S. live with pain (not including children). Pain can occur due to various medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, sciatica, cancer, back-related issues and other musculoskeletal problems.
Pain Awareness Month was first observed in the year 2001 by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA). Today, National Pain Awareness Month provides the opportunity for pain sufferers across the country to come together in order to raise awareness in communities across the country and bring positive changes towards the management of chronic pain. Organizations across the country work together with the prime goal of bringing awareness and highlighting how pain affects individuals, families, communities, and the nation as a whole. The awareness goals also include educating caregivers, healthcare professionals, and the community about available treatments that may complement existing care for a more holistic approach to chronic pain management.
As part of the 2018 NPAM campaign, a host of events including interdisciplinary pain management programs, virtual campaigns, visual awareness initiatives, surveys, social media and other PAM activities, will be held across the country.
There are many things that individuals can do help promote Pain Awareness Month:
- Inform local government and community leaders about the awareness campaign and issues of pain management.
- Talk to healthcare providers about Pain Awareness Month.
- Talk with friends and family and let them know that September is Pain Awareness Month.
- Use social media platforms to spread awareness about the campaign.
- Donate to the ACPA to help fulfill their mission to work year-round to raise awareness and support for those with chronic pain.
Leading multi-specialty healthcare centers offer chronic pain management programs that involve the use of nonsurgical modalities such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), pain injections and medications. They customize treatments to suit each individual’s specific health needs.