City & State: Wallingford, CT

Age: 32 years old

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2019

What type of health conditions you live with: Depression, chronic lower, middle, upper back, chest, neck, and hip pain.

What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “Stay socially involved as much as possible. Spending time with others tends to take my mind off the physical pain and puts my focus on enjoying the people I am around. Stay physically active when possible but do not exceed your personal limits. I was accustomed to living a very active lifestyle which led me to fight against my pain for years. Now, I’ve learned to cut myself a lot of slack with exercise. I do what I can when I can and no longer “guilt” myself into any movement my body doesn’t want. Leaving behind or drastically reducing physical activities I love was difficult for me but replacing them with more social ones has definitely enriched my life.”

What’s a fun fact about you: “I love learning anything related to nutrition, I’m a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I enjoy public speaking which most people fear worse than death!”

Ryan Drozd is an extremely active volunteer, participating in everything from advocacy and awareness campaigns to support groups. He has attended both our chronic pain support group training and 2019 Advocacy Summit. He currently facilitates one of Pain Connection’s National Support groups. Ryan has also participated in several educational events including 2019’s Storyathon, 2020’s Pain Awareness Month panel discussion, and was a featured speaker on last month’s “Building Your Toolbox” event on diet and nutrition. Ryan is always willing to reach out to others in his community and share everything he has learned about living with chronic pain.