Pain Awareness Month events in September and other events throughout the year help get the word out about the toll of chronic pain.
But whether there is an event in your area or not, it's always a good time to help others understand what life is like when you have chronic pain.
Promoting pain awareness all year long
Here are some ways to help increase understanding about the challenges of chronic pain throughout the year:
- Have your elevator speech ready. People who are looking for a job or pitching a business proposition are often advised to have a brief synopsis ready to describe themselves or their idea. Called an elevator speech or an elevator pitch, this conversation is usually about 30 seconds. Try adapting this idea to your chronic pain experience as you meet new friends or see opportunities to increase others' understanding. It's a quick way to boost awareness without getting too bogged down in the details.
- Help others with chronic pain. Do you have a friend who has chronic pain as well and could benefit from a support group, but is reluctant to give it a try? Invite him or her to join you. Going with a friend to a support group meeting may make your friend more comfortable about attending.
- Join or follow an advocacy group. Advocacy organizations for a number of chronic pain conditions hold fundraisers and other events throughout the year. Checking these organizations' websites and Facebook pages can help you stay up-to-date on events.
- Look for events that could benefit from a chronic pain advocate. You could ask to set up a table and distribute brochures at a pain management open house, book-signing, or demonstrations of yoga or acupuncture.
- Get ready for next year. It's never too soon to start planning for Pain Awareness Month 2018. If you don't have an advocacy organization where you live, consider starting one and brainstorming ideas for next year.
As you reach out to tell others about chronic pain, stay in touch with others in pain through the forums on Spine-health, where users gather to support each other and share feedback throughout the year.