Pain Awareness Month may have come to a close, but the need for improved care and increased understanding about pain continues.

“We are so appreciative of everyone who took part in our Pain Awareness Month #MyPainPlan campaign, whether joining an event, exploring MyPainPlan.org, securing a proclamation, taking part in the My Marathon fundraiser, or helping spread the word on social media,” says Nicole Hemmenway, CEO of U.S. Pain Foundation. “We are especially grateful to our sponsor, Sunbeam®, for their generous support of all our activities throughout the month.”

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A day in the life

By: Erin Adair

In honor of Pain Awareness Month, I want to tell you a little bit about what it is like to be me. I’ll try to be unvarnished, yet not too harsh in the truth of it. In my daily life, I try to be upbeat and as positive a person as I can be but at times life can be overwhelming and it can show through. If some of this seems uncharacteristic of me to those of you who know me well… that may be why and now you can know me a bit better and get, as they say, a peek behind the curtain.

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Created by the U.S. Pain Foundation, MyPainPlan.org is an interactive site that allows users to learn about pain management options and create a personalized list of which treatments they’d like to try. The list can then be saved and/or printed for personal use or to share with a health care provider.

“As pain patients ourselves, we know it can be difficult to find credible information about treatment options all in one place,” says Nicole Hemmenway, CEO of U.S. Pain. “We created this site so that patients feel more empowered about the therapies available for relief. We also wanted to draw attention to the fact that the most effective pain care is individualized, multidisciplinary, and combines various treatment options.”

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We are delighted to launch our 2020 Pain Awareness Month campaign in collaboration with Sunbeam®, this year’s presenting sponsor. (Read the press release here!)

Our theme for 2020 is #MyPainPlan and will focus on the vital importance of an individualized, multidisciplinary, multimodal approach to pain care—as well as the barriers patients face in accessing this type of care. Below, we detail four important ways to get involved.

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn., Aug. 31, 2020 — According to a survey of 1,581 individuals with chronic pain, the majority (94%) face barriers to pain management, whether because of cost, insurance limits, mobility issues, or other reasons. In particular, 72% of respondents were not able to afford multidisciplinary care options, the type of care widely viewed as best practice.

Released this week in honor of September as Pain Awareness Month, the survey is part of a national campaign to call attention to challenges in accessing pain management. The effort is a collaboration between the U.S. Pain Foundation, a nonprofit organization for the 50 million Americans with chronic pain, and Sunbeam®, a maker of electric appliances, including heat therapy products.

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Thanks to its dedicated volunteers, U.S. Pain Foundation’s 2019 Pain Awareness Month campaign, #LetsTalkAboutPain, was the most robust yet. All of the month’s activities—from educational events to the daily social media challenge—were possible through the generosity of Thrive Tape, makers of a far-infrared kinesiology tape.

“We chose the theme because we believe that speaking up about personal experiences is the first step to creating awareness and change,” says Interim CEO Nicole Hemmenway. “We are incredibly grateful to our supportive, passionate community for bringing pain to the forefront throughout September, and to Thrive Tape for providing the funding to support these efforts.”

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They range in ages, from 17 to 70. They live across the country–from New Jersey all the way to Puerto Rico. They have been diagnosed with dozens of different pain conditions, from sickle cell to fibromyalgia. They are all races, and all genders.

These are the faces of our Pain Awareness Month Storyathon. And they embody the fact that chronic pain doesn’t care what you look like, or where you come from. It can affect anyone, at any time, and in so many ways.

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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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