Over the years, we’ve heard many stories from pain warriors who wished their health care providers knew more about chronic pain and ways to manage it. This year, New York lawmakers are taking significant steps to benefit the chronic pain community and better support health care professionals either in training or practicing medicine.

Two bills pain warriors can get excited about

Assembly bill 608 and Assembly bill 9067 (S. 7132) focus on enhancing the state’s current provider education requirements, but in different ways.

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There’s a proposed piece of legislation in Kentucky that would require health plans to cover certain therapies used to treat chronic pain.

As currently written, House Bill 198 would allow pain warriors to have access to receive 20 visits for pain treatments provided by a licensed professional.

Why it matters

Pain care, especially integrative therapy options, are not well-covered by Kentucky health plans, leaving individuals like you with limited options to manage your chronic pain condition.

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Increased stress, anxiety, and trouble sleeping are common for people living with chronic pain. Unfortunately, stress, anxiety, and poor sleep can make pain worse, and vice versa. It’s a vicious cycle.

That’s why we are delighted to share a new tool for managing anxiety, stress, and sleep, and by association, managing pain: Flowly: Relaxation Training. Flowly is an iPhone app that combines biofeedback and virtual reality (VR) using either just your phone or a bluetooth sensor.

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This week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared it will cover acupuncture for chronic low back pain.

The news comes following a series of open comment periods offered by CMS on the topic. We alerted our volunteers to the second comment period earlier this summer, and many of you took the time to respond. The second open comment period saw an impressive 644 submitted comments, most of them patients. (You can read U.S. Pain Foundation’s submitted comments here.)

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During this free webinar on Jan. 21 at 1 pm EST, instructor Ryan Drozd will offer insight into the benefits of yoga for chronic pain and how to find a studio and classes that are appropriate for your health situation. He’ll also lead participants in a 20-minute chair yoga session, which is suitable for all levels of ability.

Register now

Drozd is a National Academy of Sports Medicine-Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist, RYT-200 Yoga Alliance Teacher, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Reiki Master. He has been coping with chronic upper back pain, neck pain, and rib pain for over seven years, which led him to begin learning anything and everything related to wellness. His goal is to provide others with viable options for pain relief through sharing his personal experiences. In his spare time he enjoys reading, yoga, cooking, and almost anything outdoors. Ryan is also an ambassador for the U.S. Pain.

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Interim CEO Nicole Hemmenway was one of three keynote speakers at the closing session of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) national convention last weekend in Indianapolis, IN.

In her talk, “Massage for Chronic Pain: What our community wants you to know,” Hemmenway shared her personal journey with complex regional pain syndrome and why she’s dedicated herself to helping others with pain through the U.S. Pain Foundation. She gave attendees a glimpse into the programs and services U.S. Pain offers, and provided insight into the scope of the chronic pain health crisis in America.

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Each November, U.S. Pain Foundation organizes a month-long educational campaign for the pain community. Recognizing that art and writing can help kids and adults cope with and/or express chronic pain and its effects on their lives, this year’s KNOWvember campaign will focus on creativity.

During the month, titled “Art through Pain: How Creativity Helps Us Cope,” U.S. Pain will be:

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit input into the development of an Action Plan on the opioid crisis and the treatment of acute and chronic pain as specified in the SUPPORT Act.

The deadline for comment was Oct. 11.

National Director of Policy and Advocacy Cindy Steinberg submitted on behalf of U.S. Pain Foundation, outlining 10 recommendations for ways CMS could improve pain care.

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Have you tried kinesiology tape?

U.S. Pain Foundation’s 2019 Pain Awareness Month campaign is sponsored by Thrive Tape, the makers of a far-infrared kinesiology tape. Kinesiology tape is elasticized tape that can help improve mobility and support joints, muscles, and tendons.

Thrive Tape is unique in that it includes a blend of minerals and ceramic powder, which are silkscreened onto the tape and reflect far infrared. (Far infrared is a form of light that cannot be seen, but is experienced by the body as radiant heat.)

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In honor of Pain Awareness Month, now through Friday, Sept. 20, at 11:59 PM PST, you can enter to win a Quell 2.0 pain relief device. Quell is wearable technology that uses prescription-strength nerve stimulation to help relieve chronic pain. It is up to ten times more powerful than a typical transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device. It is worn on the lower leg, and controlled remotely by you through a smartphone app.

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