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Four days left!

At U.S. Pain Foundation, we deeply believe in the power of sharing patient stories. Talking about our experiences with pain helps us to educate others, to create change, and to offer hope. That’s why our theme for Pain Awareness Month 2019, which begins Sunday, is #LetsTalkAboutPain.

This year, we have dozens of opportunities for you to help bring pain to the forefront of public conversations, ranging from our daily storyathon to social media giveaways to weekly events.

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Middletown, Conn. (Aug. 27, 2019) – An estimated 50 million Americans live with some form of chronic pain. Pain is the leading cause of long-term disability, costs the United States up to $635 billion a year, and is the number one reason Americans visit the doctor. Yet there’s an incredible lack of awareness about pain as a public health issue.

“The only way we can create change is if we start speaking up–to loved ones, coworkers, neighbors, clinicians, and even policymakers,” says Nicole Hemmenway, Interim CEO of U.S. Pain Foundation, the leading national nonprofit for people with pain. “Pain is silent, but we don’t have to be.”

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By Ryan Drozd, Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Yoga Teacher, and Licensed Massage Therapist

Living with chronic pain makes it difficult to think about movement and exercise, but both are important components of effective self-care and even reducing pain. Our bodies are designed to move–movement is an integral part of life. The human body has about 650 muscles spread across our entire skeleton, creating an elaborate pulley system that helps your joints move. Chronic pain can limit or completely restrict movement across these joints or specific areas of the body. This is annoying at best… and debilitating at worst!

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By Amy Orr, author of Taming Chronic Pain: A Management Guide for a More Enjoyable Life

No one needs to tell you that living with chronic pain is, well, a pain. Everything is just harder: it’s harder to work, harder to sleep, harder to think, harder to eat, harder to get through the day. Those of us who have been living with chronic pain for a long time have developed strategies to cope — little things to make each day just that bit easier.

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Don’t be shy.

As part of our Pain Awareness Month Storyathon, we’re collecting 3-5 minute video stories from real people with pain, talking about their personal experiences–from how they were diagnosed to how pain affects their daily life. We’ll be selecting a handful of videos to share throughout September on social media.

Remember: talking about pain is the only way we can create understanding, awareness, and most importantly: change.

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U.S. Pain was one of several organizations to sponsor 30 families with children with chronic pain to attend the 2019 Pediatric Pain Family Camp at The Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville, KY. The center is specially designed for kids with serious illnesses, offering activities for children with different abilities and an on-site medical center staffed by a full-time doctor.

The campers came together from all across the country July 21 through 25 to enjoy activities like fishing, boating, arts and crafts, and more. Most important, kids and family members had the opportunity to be with others who understand the challenges of living with pain.

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Heater at the California State Capitol Tour in Sacramento, CA.

City & state: Fremont, California

Age: 41

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

What type of health conditions you live with: Chronic migraine disease, adrenal insufficiency, hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency (caused Cushing’s disease), trigeminal neuralgia, IBS, and IBD.

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “I cope by advocating. Talking about my experiences and connecting with others that have just begun navigating some of the hurdles I’ve overcome helps me feel like I’m giving back.”

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