Chronic pain can make you feel insignificant. Living with limitations day in and day out, you start to believe you don’t matter as much as the next person.

But you do.

In fact, we would argue that you’re stronger and more determined than anyone. It takes immense courage and grace to live with constant pain. It means learning how to find joy in the little things and discovering meaning in even small victories, like being able to get outside for a few minutes, or having enough energy to take a shower.

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Art by Kristina Malmberg.

This year’s annual KNOWvember campaign, “Art Through Pain,” focused on how creative expression can be a useful tool for processing our experiences with chronic illness and even help us cope with daily pain.

Created by U.S. Pain Foundation, KNOWvember is a month-long educational campaign for the pain community. This year’s campaign offered virtual events, interactive social media posts, and an art submission initiative.

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A tribute to a dedicated pain warrior who passed away in 2016, The Joselynn Badman Ambassador of the Year Award is an annual recognition presented to a volunteer who has excelled in grassroots awareness and advocacy efforts for the pain community. The award is given to a U.S. Pain Foundation ambassador and/or advocate who inspires others to make a positive difference by aligning with the organization’s mission to empower, educate, connect, and advocate for people living with chronic conditions that cause pain.

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City & state: Ashland, OR

Age: 52 years old

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2017

Health conditions: Complex regional pain syndrome and early-onset degenerative disc disease

Favorite tips for living with chronic pain: “Check your expectations. Think in moments versus days or hours (“This is a tough moment” versus: “This is a hard day”). Be empowered by choice, even in the bleakest most painful moments…choose how you are going to respond.”

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A new federal bill would expand and coordinate scientific research of cannabidiol (CBD) or marijuana-derived products, allowing researchers to better understand their potential efficacy and safety. While medical cannabis is increasingly available in a number of states nationwide, too often, there is little clinical data available to help patients and health care providers make informed decisions about whether it would work well for their specific condition, or how much and what type to use.

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Pain Connection, a program of the U.S. Pain Foundation, has announced that its next training for chronic pain support group leaders will be held Feb. 29 and March 1 in San Diego, CA. The trainings are led by Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director of Pain Connection, and Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.

Currently, Pain Connection offers 19 in-person support groups and five monthly support group calls. Each of these offerings is led by an individual who attended a weekend training and learned about Pain Connection’s evidence-based support group model.

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The third Pediatric Pain Warriors weekend retreat, held Nov. 15-17 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee, IL, was the biggest event yet. Approximately 75 kids with pain and their loved ones—more than 200 people total—traveled from all across the country to take part.

Thanks to the generosity of numerous sponsors, including Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, Thrive Tape, Cure Medical, Papa & Barkley, The Greenbrier Companies, and the New York Yankees, as well as individual donors, the event is free to attend with some families receiving scholarships to help offset the cost of travel.

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New York, NY – Nov. 21, 2019 – The US Pain Collaborative, comprised of advocacy leaders from across the pain community, today announced the publication of a report, titled “Chronic Pain Assessment: Patient Perspectives.” The report, driven by survey data on patient awareness and satisfaction with current chronic pain assessment instruments, provides patient-informed recommendations that should be taken by physicians, patients, and advocacy organizations immediately to improve the lives of people living with chronic pain. The full report can be found HERE.

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U.S. Pain Foundation was one of six patient advocacy groups to collaborate on a survey to understand patient awareness of and satisfaction with chronic pain assessment methods. More than 2,700 people living with a variety of chronic pain conditions responded, and the results revealed that the impact of chronic pain on patients’ lives is not adequately, consistently, or uniformly measured.

“Our findings reveal a vast area for improvement in the way chronic pain is assessed and subsequently managed by healthcare professionals,” said Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy an Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation. “Better assessment tools and a wider range of questions on the part of healthcare providers, if appropriately acted upon by healthcare practitioners, could lead to significant improvements in the management of patients’ pain.”

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U.S. Pain Foundation was among several hundred organizations and individuals to weigh in on a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comment period. Specifically, the FDA asked for the public’s views on two main issues:

  1. What criteria the FDA should use to evaluate new opioids to treat pain
  2. What new incentives are needed to better support and encourage the development of new treatments for pain

The comment period came on the heels of a Sept. 17 public hearing at the FDA on these same topics.

U.S. Pain notified its community of the comment period, which ended Nov. 18, via email, social media, and an op-ed by Cindy Steinberg published in National Pain Report.

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