The month of September is recognized nationally as Pain Awareness Month, also known as PAM. Pain Awareness Month began in 2001 by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) to raise awareness of pain.
Most people experience pain of a certain degree at one point in their lives. A study done by the National Institute of Health in recent years showed that around 25.3 million adults experience chronic pain. That is 11.2 percent of the adult population in the United States. Pain is a natural response that your body produces to notify you that something is wrong. Pain has many forms in the human body and can be physical and/or emotional. Pain can be acute, which means it goes away within a short period of time or it can be chronic, where it can last for months or years. Pain is complex and can be unique for each person. Pain can impact your lifestyle, relationships, mental health and your activities of daily living. Some common types of pain include headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, pain from cancer, injury and more. Depending on one’s specific condition and pain, there are treatment options available.
Understanding what pain is, the various types of pain, and ways to manage pain can work to bring relief to many. Help raise awareness of pain, by promoting national Pain Awareness Month in your school, workplace and/or with your loved ones. Later this week we will look at tips of how to describe pain to healthcare providers and some additional resources.
There are many resources available through the ACPA to understanding conditions and treatments of chronic pain (https://www.theacpa.org/conditions-treatments/conditions-a-z/). They also provide pain management tools and answer many frequently asked questions regarding pain. Check out the sources below!