Pharmacies play a pivotal role in educating patients and caregivers about pain and the medications used to treat it. With September being National Pain Awareness Month, we thought this was the perfect time to discuss this initiative and how we can work together to bring awareness to it.
American adults have or have had chronic pain
American adults have or have had high-impact chronic pain
What is National Pain Awareness Month?
National Pain Awareness Month was established in 2001 by numerous organizations working together in conjunction with the American Chronic Pain Association. During this month, pain specialists from throughout the nation get together to raise awareness of issues related to chronic pain. Pain Awareness Month aims to increase public understanding of how pain impacts individuals, families, communities, and the country as a whole and to support efforts to address pain at the national level
Patients with chronic pain often have a difficult time performing daily activities such as working, maintaining a social life, and caring for themselves or others. Chronic pain is sometimes invisible to others making it difficult to express or “show” the suffering. As a result, people who have chronic pain may feel isolated.
Chronic pain can be caused by a multitude of factors. One instance is an old injury that someone is healed from, yet the pain persists. Another instance could be a persistent source of discomforts, such as cancer or arthritis. Many people have chronic pain without any prior injuries or signs of sickness.
With National Pain Awareness Month, a deeper understanding of pain, what causes it, and how it affects those suffering will lead to many important changes in not only how chronic pain is viewed but what is done to treat it.
Why National Pain Awareness Month is Important?
- It aids in fundraising:
One of the goals of Pain Awareness Month is to raise money for research into methods of pain management and treatment. Consider what we can do on this day to assist with fundraising, such as volunteering
- It helps raise awareness:
The necessity of healthy living and medical checkups is made more widely known during national pain awareness month. Make sure your family members receive frequent medical attention
- It supports individuals who are impacted by chronic pain:
People who have chronic pain realize they are not alone and that a large community understands and supports them as more people open out about their experiences
How Pharmacies Can Participate in National Pain Awareness Month
Below are several steps that pharmacies can take to increase their participation in Pain Awareness Month:
1) Spread the Word on Social Media
Promote pain awareness month on social media platforms and post pertinent information on chronic pain to increase understanding of non-pharmacological approaches to pain management and reduce stigma. There are many free resources to help you create social posts with little effort including a Pain Awareness Toolkit from the Arthritis Foundation, Pain Management Toolkit from the Military Health System, and last but not least, the U.S. Pain Foundation has social images, verbiage and an official hashtag, #LifeWithPain, that can help you start this important conversation.
Not sure where to start with social media? Our digital marketing experts are here to help?
2) Host an Event or Fundraiser
By holding an informative program at your hospital, community center, library, or pharmacy, a pharmacy may empower and inspire the community. Another way to hold an event is to set up a gala focused just on pain treatment and reach out to other local companies that would be interested in taking part, such as massage therapy centers, physical or occupational therapy offices, or any other health care professional that frequently deals with pain.
Offer Free Promotions & Discount
Offering something for free tends to draw greater attention to a certain subject. Consider offering patients free samples of pain-relieving treatments like topicals, oils, or creams. You could also run sales or discounts through the month of September on OTC pain management items that you would like to promote.
Gain State Recognition
By suggesting that your state or city declare September to be Pain Awareness Month, you may draw attention to the pain community. In addition, send emails to government officials to inform them of concerns about pain and pain treatment..
Collaborate With a Partner
While National Pain Awareness Month is a great opportunity to educate you patients and even your team on managing chronic pain, it is important to advocate for your chronic pain patients year-round. Therefore, your should continue to promote medication adherence and maintain consistent communication with your patients dealing with chronic pain. To help you efficiently engage with patients, we offer a variety of digital tools such two-way messaging, and automated outbound calling that will allow your team to communicate better, while not taking time away from other clinical tasks. Want to learn more? Request a free demo today!