Pain Groups Release Guide To Managing Chronic Pain

Ed. Note: The following is a press release from 3 pain advocacy groups (see end of release)

Pain Advocacy Groups Offer Help in Understanding the Changing Medication Environment

ROCKLIN, Calif., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Pain is in the news and not always in ways the 50 million Americans living with pain might hope. Two COX-2 non- steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications have been withdrawn from the market and the FDA has mandated more stringent warnings on all NSAIDS. Some providers, fearing litigation, have stopped prescribing needed medications. These events are creating fear and confusion about what's safe and effective for treating pain.

For many people with pain, the medications now under fire make the difference between productivity and disability. Losing a medication that keeps pain at manageable levels is highly distressing -- some people have said they would rather live 10 years in relative comfort with medication than to suffer through 20 without. But many also worry about the risks.

Now, three leading pain advocacy organizations are joining forces to provide support, information, and resources to help people live with chronic pain. The American Chronic Pain Association, the National Pain Foundation, and the American Pain Foundation have created A CONSUMER GUIDE TO OPTIONS FOR MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN. The guide answers key questions about recent developments and offers support for people with pain and the challenges they face.

"We want people in pain to know that there are organizations out there that understand their dilemma and can help," Mary Pat Aardrup, executive director of the National Pain Foundation, notes. "They are not alone."

The idea for a consumers' guide grew from the leaders of the three organizations. "People with pain are doubly burdened in the current climate," observes Penney Cowan, executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association. "In addition to the daily stresses of living with chronic pain, they now must face difficult decisions about their care. In many cases, they don't know where to turn for information and answers."

The organizations will post the Consumer Guide on their web sites to provide people with pain with sound information and resources to help them make decisions about their care. "The removal of certain drugs from the market makes adequate pain care much harder to get. We are working diligently at APF to combat this worsening trend," says Will Rowe, executive director of the American Pain Foundation.

More About the Guide

A CONSUMER GUIDE TO OPTIONS FOR MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN offers an overview of ways individuals can help themselves regain control over their situation, learn about their own conditions, and communicate openly with their health care professionals. It also advises consumers to explore the full range of pain management strategies. Included are common questions and answers, complete with links to organizations and resources that can provide additional information.

About the American Chronic Pain Association

Since 1980, the American Chronic Pain Association has worked to help individuals with chronic pain to regain a higher quality of life. The ACPA provides peer support and education for individuals with chronic pain and their families so that these individuals may live more fully in spite of their pain and to raise public awareness about issues of living with chronic pain.

Among the ACPA's activities are peer support groups for people with pain; print and video materials that teach pain management skills, an informative web site at public awareness outreach programs, such as Partners for Understanding Pain, and a quarterly newsletter, the ACPA Chronicle. The ACPA is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.

About the National Pain Foundation

Founded in 1998, The National Pain Foundation (NPF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educating, supporting and improving the lives of patients in pain through its interactive, peer-reviewed Web site, The mission of the NPF is to be a credible and highly effective resource to empower persons in pain to improve their lives through education, advocacy, communication networks and community participation. The NPF website, offers in-depth information on a variety of pain conditions and treatment options, an online support community and monthly updates that include interviews with experts and people living with pain and information about the latest treatment options and research related to chronic pain.

About the American Pain Foundation

Founded in 1997, the American Pain Foundation is an independent nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization serving people with pain through information and support. The APF mission is to improve the quality of life for people suffering from pain by:

  • raising public awareness; providing practical information;
  • promoting and advocating activities to remove barriers to care;
  • increasing access to effective pain management.

The organization:

  • serves as a clearinghouse and resource center for people in pain, their families, and caregivers, the general public, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the media.
  • promotes the recognition of pain as a critical healthcare issue; educates, and corrects damaging myths about pain and pain management; and seeks to remove the stigma often associated with people who experience pain.
  • advocates for changes in professional training; regulatory processes, and healthcare delivery systems to ensure that people with pain have high quality care.
  • encourages healthcare professionals to assess pain routinely and provide immediate, ongoing, and effective management.
  • mobilizes a national movement of organizations and individuals about better pain management.