In an effort to create a sense of community during a time of isolation and uncertainty, the Pediatric Pain Warrior Program held a virtual talent show on March 29 via video conference call.

A total of 13 performers showcased their talents, including singing, dancing, archery, and art.

“It was so great to see these kids connect with one another in such a positive way! You could see how empowering it was for these kids to share their talents with each other and to have a platform to do so,” says Beth Young, whose daughter, Emma Parcells, participated in the talent show. “When I heard my daughter sing and be happy, it made me cry. In these uncertain times for us all, I watched these kids coming together and supporting each other in such a positive way. It was the best distraction from what we have to face every day.”

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By Michaela O’Connor

I’m experiencing every emotion in the wake of COVID-19.

I live with three autoimmune diseases, am currently taking immunosuppressants, and have a restricted lung capacity. I’m a high-risk patient, and have been for the last 13 years of my life.

I began self-quarantining over two weeks ago. It was a precaution I felt necessary due to the contagious nature of the virus. I spend a lot of time at home anyway; I work from home, I have had groceries delivered countless times, and I workout in the spare bedroom daily—so this wasn’t far from my norm.

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Two webinar recordings are currently available to watch from the comfort of home:

Please note that you must register to watch the recordings.

“Getting the most out of PT: Secrets from a physical therapist”

On March 17, as part of the Pain Education Portal (PEP) Talk webinar series, U.S. Pain hosted a webinar to delve into unique therapies and techniques used by physical therapists for pain. Gina Gapstur, PT, demonstrated the techniques live–including dry needling, cupping, kinesiology taping, and more. She also answered questions from the audience. The event was sponsored thanks to the generosity of Thrive Tape. (NOTE: unfortunately, the webcam portion of this webinar is currently not working in the recording; we are working with GotoWebinar to find a solution.)

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Congress has been hard at work on emergency supplemental appropriations bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic hardships confronting the nation. At the same time, they are continuing to work through the regular appropriations process–examining the President’s budget, holding hearings with agency heads, examining budget and appropriations report requests and writing  and passing appropriations bills for fiscal year 2021.

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City & State: Gaithersburg, MD

Age: 46 years old

Pain warrior role: Advocate since 2019

What type of health conditions you live with: Foot pain neuropathy, disc disease, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, achilles tendinitis, chronic kidney stones, kidney disease stage 3, bilateral Morton’s neuroma, depression, anxiety, degenerative disc disease, cataracts, crest disease, fibromyalgia, GERD, osteoarthritis, myofascial pain syndrome, patulous esophagus, anterior endplate bone spurring, multiple thoracic levels, venous thrombosis , chronic pain syndrome, migraine, contact dermatitis, and joint pain.

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We wanted to provide you with some pain-focused resources and information for dealing with treatment interruptions, financial hardships, and emotional stressors related to COVID-19.

Treatment interruptions

Many in our community are concerned about access to vital medical services, whether because clinics and offices are closed or because they are personally trying to limit their chances of contracting COVID-19. Here are some details about increased telehealth services and preserving medication access.

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By U.S. Pain Foundation staff

COVID-19 cases are increasing, and so are the number of individuals stuck at home—whether by choice or because of quarantine.

Staying at home for the recommended two weeks can seem daunting, but for people with serious chronic illnesses, being homebound (at least temporarily) is not abnormal. Many times, chronic pain makes it difficult to get out and about, especially on a particularly bad pain day.

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By Ellen Lenox Smith

Lately, I feel like we are all living in the twilight zone. These changes to our daily lives are major and, at times, confusing and overwhelming to cope with. Those of us living with chronic, painful medical conditions are already living a life that is complicated and on the edge. For me, living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a simple tight hug or slip and fall can actually become deadly. So, each day is already a challenge and I must constantly remain vigilant to remain safe.

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By Emily Lemiska

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I could be at higher risk of contracting serious illness from COVID-19.

I live with rare neck and spinal cord defects, known as Klippel-Feil syndrome, which cause serious, debilitating pain. The condition affects my posture, which translates into reduced lung capacity. I also have the immune system of a flea: a cold that my husband recovers from in one week takes me about six weeks.

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In light of concerns surrounding COVID-19, U.S. Pain Foundation is putting a temporary hold on in-person events and programs, including support group meetings, our upcoming Advocacy Summit, and our spring Pediatric Pain Warrior Retreat.

Fortunately, much of our programming is offered remotely and will continue as normal. For example, we will continue to offer our five monthly Pain Connection Live support group calls. These calls are led by trained leaders and follow a traditional support group format–but you can participate from the comfort of home. We also have a free webinar on Tuesday at 1 pm EST, “Getting the most out of PT: Secrets from a physical therapist.

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