By: Nina Torres

In 2016, I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as bladder pain syndrome. I was diagnosed at 24 years old; however, I have felt this pain since childhood. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder illness that affects 3-6% of women in the United States. It also affects men but is often mistaken for another illness. According to the CDC, 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain patients are often overlooked, which causes distrust in the health care system. Chronic pain is widely underfunded, undertreated, and misunderstood. Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that consists of recurring pain, urinary urgency, and frequency.

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It’s one thing to hear about implanted neuromodulation from clinicians—but it’s another to hear about it directly from patients who have personal experience.

Join us tonight

Learn about implanted neuromodulation during a patient panel discussion tonight at 8 pm ET! We’ll be discussing what to ask your doctor about this category of treatment, considerations for choosing a device, and more. We’ll also answer questions live from the audience.

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In October, U.S. Pain hosted a webinar, “Pain relief in your pharmacy aisle: A pharmacist discusses OTC options,” with Jeffrey Fudin, PharmD. The discussion covered different classes of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, what may work best for certain types of pain, the pros and cons of various delivery methods, how to avoid side effects and interactions, and more. During the webinar, patients in the audience asked a number of questions, but we weren’t able to get to all of them. Fortunately, Himayapsill Batista Quevedo, PharmD, in collaboration with Dr. Fudin, have put together answers to some of those questions below. We’ve arranged them into four categories: efficacy; specific indications; topical medications; and side effects and risks.

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By: Ellen Lenox Smith

We are all coping with different issues as a result of the pandemic. These issues range from housing and living situations, reduction or loss of employment, child care, education with some experiencing virtual learning, financial issues, and isolation from family and friends while attempting to remain safe. However, those of us also living with chronic pain have to add this coping to our list.

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In honor of Veterans Day, the U.S. Pain Foundation is pleased to announce a new virtual support group for veterans and active members of the military dealing with chronic pain. The support group is part of Pain Connection, the organization’s national network of support groups.

“Veterans are 40 percent more likely to experience chronic pain than civilians,” says Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Pain Connection’s Clinical Director. “In addition, they face high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. Veterans and active military members need and deserve specialized support that recognizes the unique challenges they face.”

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Join us Nov. 12 at 1 pm ET for our next #NeuromodulationKnowledge webinar, “TENS to SCS: What type of neuromodulation is right for me?” with Michael Leong, MD.

As Director of Neuromodulation at Stanford University, Dr. Leong is an expert in this unique field of treatment. He’ll be discussing external and implanted neuromodulation therapies from head to toe, including TENS units, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, vagus nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, intrathecal pumps, and more! He’ll also offer considerations for using each type and answer your questions live.

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We’re kicking off our #NeuromodulationKnowledge campaign with a Twitter chat tonight at 8 pm ET.

Our featured participants are the International Neuromodulation Society, Paul Christo, MD, and For Grace. But the conversation is open to all!

To participate or follow along, just look for the hashtag #PainChat or visit our Twitter page, @US_Pain. We’ll be talking about the science behind neuromodulation, the pros and cons, what patients should know, and more.

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U.S. Pain Foundation’s Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, has been leading a small workgroup focused on efforts at the federal level to advance the recommendations in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report.

In August, the chairs and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Health Subcommittee, and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar acknowledging the pandemic public health crisis we face, but reminding the secretary that we cannot lose sight of the other ongoing public health crisis of substance use disorder (SUD) and overdose, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. These legislators asked the secretary for a briefing on the SUD crisis and recommendations on what more the federal government needs to do to address this crisis.

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Learn about telehealth

As the pandemic continues, telehealth appointments have become essential to health care, including pain management. But there is still a lot of uncertainty about how to use telehealth, what services can be provided virtually, what telehealth costs, and more.

Despite the uncertainty, patients want and need access to telehealth. According to our August survey of 1,581 people with pain, about 90% would like telehealth to continue beyond COVID-19.

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Location: Denver, CO

Age: 64 years young

Pain Warrior Role: U.S. Pain advocate/ambassador since 2018 and a member of the Disparities Solutions Advisory Council

Pain Conditions: Degenerative arthritis of the spine, osteoarthritis, and neuropathy

Tip for pain warriors: “Movement is key- know your limits and move within them! Movement has been my best medicine once I was healed enough to start walking again. Although any impact causes discomfort, I recognize when I move, the blood flow allows my pain to subside. Pre-Covid, water aerobics was my exercise of choice for two hours of pure physical, mental, and spiritual rejuvenation!”

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