City & State: Albany, CA

Age: 45

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2018

What type of health conditions you live with: chronic migraine disease, IBS, anxiety

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “Be proactive. Being proactive about my treatment has given me back a sense of control. It has been helpful for me to learn about my conditions and to find ways that my actions and thinking can influence their severity. Chronic pain is not something that I have been able to deal with on my own. I’ve had to reach out and get support from my family and friends, therapists, healthcare providers, and an understanding community of other people with chronic pain conditions. I’ve had to learn new skills, develop new relationships, and embrace healthy habits in order to live each day with as little pain and as much joy as possible.”

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Finding community support is essential to living with chronic pain. With that in mind, Pain Connection, a program of U.S. Pain Foundation, continues to expand its in-person and conference call support group offerings nationwide.

Along with three existing monthly “Pain Connection Live” support group calls, there will now be a morning call on the third Thursday of each month from 10-11 am EST. The first call will be May 16. Existing calls are held on one evening, one afternoon, and one Saturday each month. To learn more or register for a Pain Connection Live call, click here.

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Patient and provider groups are celebrating the introduction of the “Safe Step Act,” a federal bill aimed at lessening treatment delays and barriers to the access of prescription therapies. Filed by Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), HR 2279 would reform the potentially harmful insurer practice known as step therapy, which allows insurers to force patients to try and fail on a series of insurer-preferred medications before offering coverage for the originally prescribed option. This is the second time a bill to limit step therapy has been introduced at the national level.

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The 90-day public comment period for the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force’s (PMTF) draft report came to a close April 1, with more than 6,000 individuals and organizations submitting feedback.

Among those to comment was the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force (CPATF), a coalition of pain patient-related nonprofits, including U.S. Pain Foundation, which submitted a 25-page joint letter. In addition to U.S. Pain Foundation, the CPATF letter was signed by the Center for Practical Bioethics; CHAMP (Coalition For Headache And Migraine Patients); Chronic Pain Research Alliance; For Grace: Women In Pain; Global Healthy Living Foundation; Headache and Migraine Policy Forum; International Pain Foundation; Interstitial Cystitis Association; RSDSA (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association); and The Pain Community.

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Photo credit: Ashley Hattle-Cleminshaw.

From April 12 to 14, more than 200 people from around the world gathered in San Antonio, TX, for the first-ever RetreatMigraine conference. Produced by CHAMP (the Coalition for Headache And Migraine Patients) the three-day educational event aimed to connect those with migraine disease with information, resources, and most importantly, each other.

A member organization of CHAMP, U.S. Pain Foundation sponsored a dinner and launch party for its latest issue of the INvisible Project. The magazine–the third edition focusing on headache diseases–includes profiles of 10 inspiring individuals who are living with migraine, headache, and cluster diseases. The launch party featured large displays with photos, story summaries, and quotes from each person profiled.

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