Together Walks to combat chronic pain public health crisis

50 percent of all veterans and 80 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer with chronic pain.

News – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 7, 2017

LOGAN, Utah – The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, a global community supporting individuals living with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain diseases, will join for 1K/5K Together Walks in cities across the nation in honor of Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on May 12.

Walks will be held in California, Oregon, Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Connecticut, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. The events include a 1K/5K walk, an educational program, a health expo, a raffle and musical entertainment. Individuals can also raise funds and awareness in their local community by creating a team in the Virtual Together Walk.

“One in three U.S. adults, 50 percent of all veterans and 80 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer with chronic pain,” said Jan Chambers, NFMCPA president and founder. “Life-altering, chronic pain is real, and effective pain relief is needed now. We cannot ignore the public health crisis of chronic pain any longer.”

Reports by the U.S. Institute of Medicine and the Department of Defense show that more than 100 million American men, women and children are impacted by chronic pain and that chronic pain costs the nation $635 billion annually in health care costs and lost productivity.

Fibromyalgia – one of many invisible, chronic pain diseases –  affects 5 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The illness involves long-term body-wide pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory problems and impaired functionality.

“Untreated pain such as fibromyalgia has a devastating impact on individuals, families, communities and our nation. The opioid crisis reflects the lack of available treatment options,” Chambers said. “Your voice matters. Join Together Walks where people in pain have a voice.”

Together Walks are open to the public, individuals living with chronic pain, and their friends, family and caregivers. The walks unite communities to advocate for better access to care, to encourage and fund research into integrative treatments and to increase fibromyalgia awareness, education, resources and support.

Through joining or donating to Together Walks, individuals can:

  • Raise fibromyalgia awareness by educating local communities and political leaders about the disease
  • Alleviate stigmatization of people suffering with chronic pain diseases
  • Create more research funding for new exploration in areas such as small fiber neuropathy, cervical cord compression and myofascial release that may bring new pain treatment
  • Increase support by providing local, accessible resources and information for daily living to patients
  • Promote the ramifications, including financial consequences, of chronic pain to the public, legislators, medical community and government agencies.

Together Walks will be held the following dates in the following cities:

Together Walks in Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; and Portland, Oregon, will coincide with September Pain Awareness Month. Dates are pending.

To donate to or register for a Together Walk, visit crowdrise.com/togetherwalks. For more information, visit togetherwalks.org.

All Together Walk and NFMCPA leaders are volunteers. To volunteer or host a Together Walk in your city, contact the NFMCPA at info@togetherwalks.org.

About the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA)
25 Federal Avenue, Logan, UT  84321; (O) 801-200-3627; (F) 435-753-3556

NFMCPA, a not-for-profit organization, supports individuals living with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain illnesses by raising awareness through community outreach, education, advocacy and networking. Visit: http://www.fmcpaware.org/, www.facebook.com/nfmcpa, www.twitter.com/fibroandpain.

CONTACT

Amanda Wray, Communications Director
amanda.nfmcpa@gmail.com; (O) 801-200-36278

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National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association Launches Together Walks

Meeting new friends and making fibromyalgia visible – May 12 Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On February 22, President Barack Obama formally recognized pain patients’ experiences and opposed legislation imposing limits on opioid prescribing. [Available here]  “Pain is real,” Obama said.

“One hundred million American adults live with the disease of chronic pain, and many of them rely on a combination of therapies to function,” said Jan Chambers, president of the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA). “That combination treatment often includes strong pain medications.”

“Rather than viewing pain as simply a symptom of trauma, infection, inflammation, or surgery, we now see it as a discrete disease entity – one that fundamentally alters the entire nervous system,” report  Stanford University researchers.  To increase scientific research funding for multidisciplinary treatments for pain and to raise awareness of the challenges people with chronic pain face, the NFMCPA is sponsoring Together Walks in May across the United States. These local events celebrate May 12 Fibromyalgia Awareness Day to recognize what patients have overcome, to remember those lost to the illness, and to honor people who have fought or are fighting fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

“If we go to the doctors right now and say ‘Don’t overprescribe’ without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have, then we’re not going to solve the problem,” said Obama.

Together Walks are a step toward a solution for chronic pain. The events unite communities to make a difference, raise awareness, advocate for better access to care, and encourage and fund research that leads to better treatments. An estimated 10 million Americans, 2 to 4 percent of population, have FM – a common illness involving long-term, body-wide pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory problems and impaired functionality – as a primary diagnosis.

Together Walks are for individuals living with chronic pain and their friends, family and caregivers to make fibromylgia visible.  All walks and NFMCPA leadership are volunteers and doing this because they want to help and give back to the community.  The NFMCPA  invites all to participate in the Virtual Together Walk or live in Richmond, Virginia; Kissimmee and Coral Springs, Florida; Portland, Washington; and Louisville, Kentucky.  For more information, please visit togetherwalks.org or register at crowdrise.com/togetherwalks.

About the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA)

NFMCPA, a not-for-profit organization, supports individuals living with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain illnesses by raising awareness through community outreach, education, advocacy and networking.

Learn more: http://togetherwalks.org/, www.facebook.com/nfmcpa, www.twitter.com/togetherwalks.