MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (Aug. 30, 2017)—Chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans. It’s the number one reason someone goes to the doctor. It’s also the leading cause of disability. And yet chronic pain often goes ignored and undertreated. In the wake of the opioid crisis especially, people living with chronic pain feel stigmatized and misunderstood.
U.S. Pain Foundation, the leading chronic pain advocacy organization in the country, aims to change that. In September, the nonprofit is spearheading efforts for Pain Awareness Month, a national campaign to increase awareness about chronic pain.
“We talk a lot about the opioid crisis, but we don’t talk much about chronic pain,” says Paul Gileno, president and founder, who began having pain after a serious work accident in 2003. “In order to effectively address the opioid epidemic, we should also be thinking about how to address the parallel problem of chronic pain, whether by providing more funding for pain research, encouraging insurers to provide more coverage for nonpharmaceutical treatment options, or creating better support services for people and families affected by pain.”
U.S. Pain has been on a mission to empower, support, inform, and advocate for the pain community since its founding in 2011. What started as a small grassroots group now has 90,000 members nationwide and a network of 1,000 volunteers. It offers dozens of programs, ranging from the INvisible Project, a print magazine that tells the stories of people with pain, to Pain Connection, which offers in-person and telephone support groups.
During Pain Awareness Month, U.S. Pain will kick its awareness efforts up a notch with a series of special month-long campaigns, including:
- Quell collaboration. Quell, an innovative, drug-free device for pain management, is offering a limited-edition Quell Pain Awareness Bundle featuring educational materials and a pain warrior bracelet from U.S. Pain. A portion of the proceeds from all Quell Pain Awareness Bundle sales during the month will be donated to U.S. Pain. In addition, during September only, Quell is offering $10 off the Pain Awareness Bundles with the code USPAIN10.
- Light up the Landmarks. More than 30 landmarks and buildings will be lit up in blue on Sept. 9 in honor of Pain Awareness Month thanks to the efforts of U.S. Pain volunteers. Landmarks range from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans to the Los Angeles International Airport. To find a landmark near you, click here.
- 30-Day Challenge. S. Pain has put together a series of daily tasks for its followers on social media. This year’s theme is balanced pain management and will feature special promos and a giveaway with Quell. To check out the challenge, follow U.S. Pain on Facebook or on Twitter.
- Special events. S. Pain Foundation will be hosting tables Sept. 5-9 at PAINWeek in Las Vegas and Sept. 8-10 at the Abilities Expo in Boston, and is a sponsor of ClusterBusters Conference Sept. 14-17 in Chicago. Founder and president Paul Gileno also will be holding a Facebook Live event with The Mighty at the end of September; official date to be announced. Local awareness events will be held by U.S. Pain staff and volunteers across the country, including in Rhode Island, Florida, and Arizona; full details are available on www.uspainawarenessmonth.com.
- State and town proclamations. At least 20 states and 20 towns are expected to create proclamations designating September as Pain Awareness Month thanks to U.S. Pain volunteers.
- Free T-shirts. Individuals who share their pain journey story with U.S. Pain will receive a free “Pain is real” T-shirt and a package with resources and information.
- Fundraisers. U.S. Pain is a sponsor of two fundraisers; the Walk-n-Roll for Spina Bifida on Sept. 16 in Walnut Creek, CA, and Quench the Fire on Oct. 1 in Van Nuys, CA. Additional fundraisers are being organized by U.S. Pain volunteers in Michigan, California, and Texas. For more information, visit www.uspainawarenessmonth.com.
- Beautify in Blue. Volunteers have worked with multiple cities and towns to display blue ribbons and U.S. Pain signage during Pain Awareness Month.
Full details about all of the efforts above—and more—can be found on U.S. Pain Foundation’s Pain Awareness Month site, www.uspainawarenessmonth.com. For more information about U.S. Pain Foundation, visit www.uspainfoundation.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nicole Hemmenway (Vice president)
Cell phone: 361-695-5382
About U.S. Pain Foundation
U.S. Pain Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with chronic conditions that cause pain. With a mission to empower, support, inform, and advocate at the state and federal level, U.S. Pain focuses on protecting patient rights, enhancing access to effective care, advancing research, reducing stigma, and promoting emotional and physical wellness. For more information, visit www.uspainfoundation.org.