Restoring Hope: Empowering Patients to Break Through Their Pain

"Break Through Your Pain"

It’s obvious at #PhRMA13 that providing patients with the treatments they need is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. To determine what treatments are needed, patient engagement is becoming increasingly important. The American Osteopathic Association is launching its “Break Through Your Pain” campaign next week to restore hope for patients suffering from chronic pain and encouraging them to get actively engaged in their health. Read this post and tune in to #PhRMA13 to hear others discuss the importance of patient engagement live beginning at 10:30 am EDT. 

Imagine starting each day knowing chronic pain will be a constant companion. Many dread having to bend down to pick up their children,empty a dishwasher,or prepare a meal for their family. At work, simple tasks, such as typing on a computer or filing papers, are painful and exhausting. Some endure soreness in their back when sitting for long periods of time. Others wince when answering the phone from shooting pain in their shoulders or neck. No matter the type of pain or the cause, chronic pain sufferers lose the ability to move freely throughout their day. What’s worse is many lose hope forever getting better. The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) is working to restore that hope.

In anticipation of National Osteopathic Medicine Week, which will take place April 14-20, the AOA is launching a public awareness campaign to educate American office workers on taking the right steps for a pain-free workday. Part of the AOA's “Break Through Your Pain” campaign aimed at empowering individuals with the knowledge and resources for living pain-free, this phase of the campaign focuses on proper desk configuration, maintaining healthy posture while sitting, and ways to stretch and be more physically active at work.

New AOA survey data shows that 1 in 4 American office workers believe pain is just a standard part of working in an office.This misperception can lead people to ignore or undertreat their pain, creating a debilitating cycle of chronic or reoccurring pain. The key to preventing and ending chronic pain is to engage patients in their care. It is critical that physicians understand their patients’ pain and work with them to develop an individualized treatment plan that focuses on achieving results.

At Osteopathic.org/pain, the AOA offers tools and tips to help office workers and others begin a dialogue with their physician about their pain.Materials include:

  • a short pain quiz to assess whether a visit to the physician is in order;
  • pain assessment and daily journal that provides a physician with a snapshot of a person’s individual pain profile;
  • desk makeover tips for preventing and easing physical pain to help individuals sit comfortably at their desks;
  • pain and productivity primer with five activities people should be doing at work, and five they shouldn’t, to help prevent and alleviate pain; and
  • pledge for office workers to sign and place on their desks promising they will seek effective pain treatment and prevent future discomfort.

Pain is disruptive to daily life, triggering physical symptoms and psychological wounds that can affect a person’s ability to fully engage in activities at work and home. For this reason, it is imperative for those living with pain to keep their hope alive by finding a physician they trust to develop a personalized plan to effectively diagnose, manage and treat their pain.

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