The US Pain Foundation starts off September strong for Pain Awareness Month by releasing a touching video that gets personal about chronic pain.
Their initiative, #PainCounts aims to allow a glimpse into the life of someone who experiences chronic pain. In the video, 5 people are featured sharing their personal experiences with chronic pain.
“The pain is like the beginnings of an F5 hurricane or a tornado,” Cheryl from Lake Louise, AK, said. “It starts off small but as it goes along it picks up debris, right, and starts to destroy things.”
Twenty million Americans live with “high-impact pain” or pain that significantly impacts their life. Another statistic that’s shared in the video. Despite how prevalent pain is, individuals often have difficulty finding the care they need.
The #PainCounts initiative is striving to improve the level of understanding surrounding chronic pain. Many face stigmatization due to the lack of understanding from the public, the health care system, and insurance providers.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) dedicate less than 2% of funding to pain research and as of 2018, 96% of medical schools in the US did not require students to take courses on pain medicine, according to “What You Need to Know About Chronic Pain”.
“At one point, I was so depressed,” Millie, from Rochester, NY, said in the video. “I had depression and anxiety, I wouldn’t get out of bed.”
Unfortunately, pain and depression can often feed off of each other. An especially harrowing statistic shared in the video stated that 10% of all suicides involve someone with chronic pain.
The US Pain Foundation is seeking to change this by partnering with Sunbeam for Pain Awareness Month. The goal is a higher understanding, more research, better training and less stigma. Follow their Twitter for more facts.