Every year since 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association has led a group of health organizations to educate the public and practitioners on the challenges and options for those who suffer from acute or chronic pain. They are the creators of PAIN AWARENESS MONTH, an annual education initiative during September. But for those who suffer from chronic pain, September is just another month during a year full of pain.
What many pain sufferers do not realize is that they are not alone. In fact, according to the ACPA, chronic pain is an invisible epidemic with over 100 million people in the U.S. living with some degree of chronic pain. Often, people will attempt to hide their pain, for fear of stigma, bias, or shame. Even worse, as the pain persists, a person’s quality of life can be severely diminished. Pain is an expensive ordeal financially, emotionally, and societally. Pain can cost you employment, opportunities, relationships, and your life.
If you are one of the 100 million who suffer from chronic pain, it is first important for you to realize that your pain may have progressed to a level that is interfering with your quality of life. Then you can work toward clearly diagnosing the cause to determine what your options are for treatment and/or pain management. Many pain sufferers and their family members have concerns about seeking medical help, under the assumption that help equals pain medication and that means opioids. With all of the challenges and alarm associated with the opioid epidemic, this fear and stigma, interferes with some getting the help and information they desperately need.
So, what can you do if you or a loved one suffer from chronic pain?
The first step is to truly understand your pain and if it is or is not affecting your quality of life. The ACPA has published a very helpful “Quality of Life Scale.” To get a copy click here. Then once you know if your pain is truly affecting and diminishing your quality of life, step two should be to meet with a pain specialist to determine the leading-edge and cutting-edge options to help you treat and potentially end your pain. The best way to celebrate and honor this September Pain Awareness Month is to get the answers you need about the cause of your pain and all potential options for treatment. There have been many advancements in the treatment of pain and several have nothing to do with opioids or painful surgery. So, this Pain Awareness Month, get the facts and get the help you need to regain your quality of life.
Midwest Interventional Spine Specialists (M.I.S.S.) is a leader in introducing the most advanced techniques and state-of-the-art technology for the treatment and management of chronic pain. For 20 years, M.I.S.S. has been dedicated to serving the Northwest Indiana community with the most progressive and minimally invasive treatments for pain. All M.I.S.S. physicians are Board Certified Specialists. M.I.S.S. serves patients throughout Northwest Indiana and neighboring Illinois. To Schedule an Appointment – Call (219) 836-7246. Please review our website disclaimer.