Throughout June as National Headache and Migraine Awareness Month (MHAM), the U.S. Pain Foundation and fellow patient organizations focused their efforts on educating patients and the public about the realities of life with headache diseases. (And even though it’s July, there are still a few opportunities to learn and take action!)

Launch of the INvisible Project: Migraine & Headache 4th Edition

The month kicked off with multiple launch parties for the newest edition of the INvisible Project, which highlights 10 patients and families coping with varying types of headache diseases ranging from cluster headache to new daily persistent headache. You can download the full PDF of the magazine or order print copies, free of charge, by visiting the INvisible Project website.

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“Building Your Toolbox,” an interactive videoconference series, hosted its second event last night. The topic was “self-hypnosis,” with speaker Helen Hess, RN, NP, CHT, a certified hypnotist and hypnotherapist since 2005. A total 45 pain warriors attended the event, which is designed to be a more intimate version of a webinar, where people can directly interact with the speaker and fellow attendees.

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On May 26, U.S. Pain Foundation launched its first-ever Virtual Advocacy Training Series for its top pain advocates. Typically, the organization hosts advocacy trainings as in-person weekend summits, but because of the COVID-19 situation, it elected to move the event to an online format.

Thus far, 38 advocates have joined the training sessions, led by Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy. Each session includes interactive components, like breakout groups and Q&As.

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To provide more support and tips for self-management during the pandemic, Pain Connection has launched an interactive series, “Building Your Toolbox,” held the first Tuesday of the month. Each meeting in the series focuses on discussing a different pain modality with an expert. With the current health crisis, fear and stress seem to be at an all-time high, especially for pain warriors. We would like to encourage our pain warriors to create a toolbox of treatment modalities that can help you thrive all the time, not just during the pandemic.

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Two webinar recordings are currently available to watch from the comfort of home:

Please note that you must register to watch the recordings.

“Getting the most out of PT: Secrets from a physical therapist”

On March 17, as part of the Pain Education Portal (PEP) Talk webinar series, U.S. Pain hosted a webinar to delve into unique therapies and techniques used by physical therapists for pain. Gina Gapstur, PT, demonstrated the techniques live–including dry needling, cupping, kinesiology taping, and more. She also answered questions from the audience. The event was sponsored thanks to the generosity of Thrive Tape. (NOTE: unfortunately, the webcam portion of this webinar is currently not working in the recording; we are working with GotoWebinar to find a solution.)

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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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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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By Diane Cleverly, PhD, Founder of Concierge Conversations

Did you know that by 2020, there will be a shortage of about 46,000 primary care doctors in the U.S.?

Not only that, but Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements per patient have dropped. That means physicians are increasingly pressured to see more patients per day.

What does this mean for you, the patient? For one thing, your doctor has basically taken a pay cut. So it’s more important than ever to walk into a doctor’s appointment prepared in order to help you connect with your doctor on a personal level.

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Treating chronic pain is complex and affects people physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially, and environmentally.

That’s why Pain Connection, a program of U.S. Pain Foundation, is offering “Filling the gaps in pain care,” a multidisciplinary program designed to help people with chronic pain and their families manage and cope with chronic pain more effectively.

The eight-week program will take place at Harmony Hospice: 1200 N. El Dorado Place, Ste B-200, Tucson, Arizona, on Thursdays from 1 to 4 pm, from May 7 to June 25, 2020. (Please note new dates, moved ahead from original winter dates.)

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The final online event in our Pain Awareness Month series will explore the ways in which patient advocacy–at both the state and federal levels–centers on sharing your personal pain story. The event will take place Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 11:30 AM – 12:30 pm EST.

U.S. Pain Interim CEO Nicole Hemmenway will moderate a panel discussion with Cindy Steinberg, U.S. Pain National Director of Policy and Advocacy, Shaina Smith, U.S. Pain Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development, and special guest Rhode Island State Rep. Patricia Serpa.

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