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September is Pain Awareness Month

The month of September is Pain Awareness Month. Throughout this month organizations, healthcare professionals and consumer groups work to raise public awareness about issues related to pain and pain management. Many people who live with the daily agony of pain have a very poor quality of life. Pain can interfere with a person’s ability to work, play with their children, walk, or even take care of themselves. Millions of Americans suffer with acute pain or chronic pain every day which limits what they can and cannot do. Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. In fact, a recent market research report indicated that more than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain.
To understand how pain can affect a person’s daily life it’s important to know the difference between acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is a normal feeling or temporary reaction your body feels when triggered by an injury that tells you something hurts, and you need to take care of yourself. Chronic pain is pain that continues for weeks, months or even years. The cause of chronic pain can range from an initial injury like a fall or an ongoing illness like cancer, diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Some chronic pain can appear over time with no clear cause. This type of chronic pain can be hard to treat and have negative impacts on a person’s body and lifestyle. Being in temporary pain is not easy, but chronic pain that doesn’t go away is even harder to live with.
According to the National Institute of Health close to 11 million U.S. adults has High Impact Chronic Pain (HICP) which is a new concept that describes people with pain lasting three months or longer accompanied by at least one major activity restriction on their body. People with severe medical conditions experience HICP and live with the side effect of pain every day. For many people, pain medication is their primary source of relief. Pain medications are useful in 20% to 70% of cases to help patients manage pain. While medication can help pain treatment, it is often not enough to control all the symptoms. Other treatment can be combined with medication such as exercise, meditation, massage, acupuncture, and herbal medicines.
When chronic pain is poorly controlled, living with it can feel unbearable for most people. The effects of pain management also have a big impact on health care costs related to rehabilitation, lost worker productivity, as well as the emotional and financial burden on patients and their families.
The American Chronic Pain Association and other groups are working to create a better understanding amongst health care professionals, individuals and families for people who are struggling with managing their pain. Pain management is a serious public health issue that can affect an individual and entire community. If you are struggling with pain, it’s important to contact your primary care physician or local pain management provider to help you find cause of your pain and the right treatment that fits your needs.

Cokeitha Gaddist (67 Posts)