According to a survey of 1,581 individuals with chronic pain, the majority (94%) face barriers to pain management, whether because of cost, insurance limits, mobility issues, or other reasons. In particular, 72% of respondents were not able to afford multidisciplinary care options, the type of care widely viewed as best practice.

The survey was released as part of Pain Awareness Month in September, a national campaign to call attention to challenges in accessing pain management. The effort is a collaboration between the U.S. Pain Foundation, a nonprofit organization for the 50 million Americans with chronic pain, and Sunbeam, a maker of electric appliances, including heat therapy products.

“We are incredibly grateful to Sunbeam for sponsoring this important campaign. Our goal this month is twofold: to encourage policymakers, insurers, and clinicians to take a closer look at whether they are truly promoting multidisciplinary care, and to educate patients on the full range of treatment options available.”

— Nicole Hemmenway, CEO of the U.S. Pain Foundation

U.S. Pain Foundation is offering new resources and tools to people with pain throughout the month, according to a media release. These include:

  • The launch of, where users can learn about dozens of treatment options and choose whether to add them to their customized plan. The plan can then be printed and shared to start a dialogue with providers.
  • Free online events, including: “Pain relief at home: Tips and tricks” with Peter Abaci, MD, Sept. 3 at 8 pm ET; “How and when to use heat vs. cold therapy” with Edgar Ross, MD, on Sept. 17 at 1 pm ET; and “My pain journey: Patients share their experience with multidisciplinary care” with Linda Shaw, Ryan Drozd, Sylvia Faircloth, PhD, and Mariah Leach, Sept. 30 at 1 pm ET.
  • A survey report about barriers patients face in accessing care. The report also includes key recommendations for improvements in the areas of policy, education, and support.
  • A social media campaign, #MyPainPlan, highlighting best practices in pain care, and drawing attention to the barriers patients face in accessing it.
  • Heating pad giveaways. Through a donation from Sunbeam, the U.S. Pain Foundation will be distributing 2,300 free heating pads to people with pain.

“There is consensus from the medical literature and clinical expert opinion that pain care should be individualized, multidisciplinary and coordinated. Unfortunately, the reality is that many patients cannot access this type of care. This is particularly true for those who live in rural or underserved communities. Through this year’s campaign, we hope to help move the needle in the right direction.”

— Edward Bilsky, PhD, a U.S. Pain board member and Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences

“At Sunbeam, we are not only committed to bringing innovative heat and cold therapy products to market, we’re also passionate about better understanding individuals’ experiences and supporting consumers as they navigate their pain conditions.”

— Aimee Yu, Senior Brand Manager, Sunbeam

[Source(s): U.S. Pain Foundation, PR Newswire]

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