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Millions of people suffer from different types of chronic pain every day of their lives. From headaches and arthritis to fibromyalgia and neuropathy, and all sorts of other types of pain, statistics show that approximately 20% of people in the US will deal with chronic pain each year – with about 7% of people being highly impacted. 

One of the things that makes many versions of chronic pain difficult is that it is often invisible! Pain Awareness Month is here to shine a light on the need for understanding and compassion from families and community, as well as improving the care the pain patients receive from health care professionals.

History of Pain Awareness Month

The inaugural observance of Pain Awareness Month took place in 2001 when it was facilitated by a coalition of groups led by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA). These groups gathered under an umbrella called Partners for Understanding Pain, including well-known organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), The American Cancer Society, The American Nurses Association and many others.

Organizers of Pain Awareness Month have not only offered different toolkits for observing the month, but they have also been involved in advocating politically for government support, such as The National Pain Care Policy of 2005

The purpose behind Pain Awareness Month continues to be to foster conversation and promote public education around the topic of chronic pain, as well as providing information and increased access to treatment for chronic pain.

How to Celebrate Pain Awareness Month

Show some support for others or get some support for yourself by participating in various activities related to Pain Awareness Month. Check out some of these to get started with:

Get Educated About Pain

One excellent way to observe Pain Awareness Month for individuals, community members and healthcare professionals, is to continue to grow in knowledge and understanding of chronic pain and pain care management. This could start by reading some articles online to get more informed, perhaps with the resource provided by the US Pain Foundation or the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Join a Chronic Pain Support Group

Those who experience chronic pain but have felt the need for more support might be interested in joining up online or with a local group of people that helps to show compassion and support to those who are living with chronic pain. Pain Awareness Month might be just the time to get involved and connected. The US Pain Foundation is one of many organizations that facilitates such groups, found with a quick online search.

Support a Pain Organization

Pain Awareness Month might be a good time to consider making a donation to a non-profit organization that helps people with support for their chronic pain or does research to find treatment for pain.

Consider learning more about and supporting one of these:

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