As Pain Awareness Month draws to a close, I hope you have done something to raise awareness this year. In our previous blogs in the series, I’ve explained the tools that are at your fingertips on Spine-health to raise awareness for yourself or as a place you can direct someone with pain related issues.
Ways to continue to promote Pain Awareness
Let people know about your situation.
When you make a new acquaintance, or become more comfortable with someone you already know, there is a good chance they know you have back pain or neck pain, but do not know many details beyond what it is and some of the obvious ways it affects you (e.g., you have a back rest you bring around with you, you get out of chairs slowly, you use a grabber to pick things up). A simple message could be:
- Dear _____,
As you might be aware, I am afflicted with back pain. I understand that term is rather vague, so I want to give you a little more information about my specific situation. I have had back pain for X years and have had X surgeries to treat it, the latest one in Month, YEAR. My specific condition(s) is/are called __________. If you want to know more about that condition, you can visit www.spine-health.com for articles I have found very helpful in understanding my condition(s). I hope this will make things more comfortable between us without the “elephant in the room”. Please feel free to ask me about any issues I have mentioned about my condition.
- Dear _____,
Let others know about the support available to them.
If you know somebody who lives with chronic pain, it can be a sensitive subject when suggesting a means of support, such as a local support group or one on the Internet. Many people feel that seeking support is a burden on others, so a good approach could be to explain how they could help other people at those groups by sharing their experiences.
Find events to participate in.
Pain Awareness Month is not the only event going on during the year. There are other Awareness Months, Weeks or Days for many specific conditions, and each event is an opportunity to spread awareness.
Prepare for Pain Awareness Month next year
Many events during Pain Awareness Month are planned months before the day people participate in them. Deciding on an event, getting resources and people organized, and marketing an event all take considerable effort, but make for very successful events.
Things to consider when planning your event:
- Local politicians and heads of business or institutions are often available to speak at events for a good cause. Don’t be afraid to ask a Senator, Governor, Mayor, CEO, President, Chairman, Professor, Doctor, Coach, Professional Athlete or any other prominent community member to get involved in your awareness event.
- Businesses will often help promote the event or allow the event be held at their establishment without charge, if it brings them additional business or shines upon them favorably within their community.
- Let local news sources know about the event ahead of time. A press release a month or week before the event (depending on if you want people to sign up or just show up) will give the news outlets ample time to carry the story and decide if they will send a correspondent to cover the event. If it is not covered directly, you can also send a press release afterword summarizing the event.
If you are looking for ideas for events for you, your business or your group, here are a few past events and up and coming events for this year:
- Pain patients and supporters attended the final home game of the Arizona Diamondbacks and handed out information to other attendees. The event called “Help Strike Out Chronic Pain” was put on by the Power of Pain Foundation.
- Pain management facilities held open house events to let people know about treatments available for chronic pain. Known events were held at Space Coast Pain Institute and Avera St. Luke’s Pain Management Center.
- The Women in Pain awareness group successfully lobbied to have the Pennsylvania state senate declare September “Women in Pain Awareness Month” to go along with the national program. They also held a workshop to provide discussion and support for chronic pain patients and to provide demonstrations and teachings of relaxation techniques.
- Pain Awareness Month New Zealand held an art contest where submissions will be auctioned at an event in early October.
Other Possible Events
- Book signings
- Therapy demonstrations (acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga, massage)
- Participation in Labor Day parades or town events
We are glad to be able to provide the educational materials and a support network designed to help people with pain conditions and we hope you are able to utilize them to spread awareness throughout the entire year.
In This Article:
- September is Pain Awareness Month
- Pain Awareness Month Part II: People Helping People
- Pain Awareness Month Part III: Get Informed
- Pain Awareness Month Part IV - Continuing Awareness