Pain is pervasive and affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer. In fact, more than all 3 combined.
Chronic pain is one HUGE health problem that surprisingly, and dismaying for those living with the condition, does not seemingly get the attention (and funding and services) the magnitude of the problem appears to warrant. *Keep in mind here that pain still lacks a definitive definition that addresses and differentiates its manifest forms.
Do not get discouraged though because…
although it may lack media coverage (unlike the supposed and maddingly frightening and threatening “crisis” over pain medication the media is obsessed with), for the past several years the United Sates government has been working hard to increase their knowledge of and recommendations including federal guidelines and regulations, for the healthcare community when dealing with patient’s with pain- no matter its source or duration.
The NIH, whose role is to compile, support and deciminate data from medical research in the United States, is focuses on and helping to address the problem of chronic pain in America. “This will be accomplished through translating basic laboratory science to new, improved pain treatments and by providing strategic support for the research community to discover more effective pain treatment strategies.”
IPRCC is doing all number of good works in the name of chronic pain. Their mission is “to interact with other government and private entities to promote the pain research agenda.” The IPRCC coordinates with the NIH’s Pain Consortium and, amongst other things, works with them to develop the Interagency Pain Research Portfolio Database which compiles pain research and training activities supported by the Federal Government. U.S. participating agencies include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration and the Veteran’s Administration. Each of these U.S. organizations are themselves doing good work towards addressing any number of pain issues within our society.
For general information about Chronic Pain from the NIH check here.
So…if you ever get the feeling you’re all alone and that your condition is misunderstood and unsupported~ do not fear, there is much work being done. If you’re up to it, don’t hesitate to contact any of the above U.S. organizations….every little bit of advocacy helps. Remember, they work for us AND they need to hear from us.
There is help on the way!