Chronic Migraines and Pain Awareness Month

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September 13, 2013

Are you aware that it’s officially Pain Awareness Month?  That’s right, September is dedicated to raising awareness for the issues facing individuals living with pain due to various conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, back pain, chronic headaches and chronic migraines.

Together with approximately 80 different organizations, the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) established Partners For Understanding Pain to promote community, government and media attention to the need for better understanding; research funding; legal protection; and access to health care to benefit chronic pain sufferers

The ACPA website provides some helpful ‘Communication Tools’ that allow you to track and organize your chronic headache and migraine pain management therapies, activities and symptoms.  This is particularly useful for those times when you visit your physician while in the throes of pain, and possibly taking heavy-duty painkillers that leave you drowsy. 

Articulating your chronic migraine symptoms and retaining the information your doctor tells you may be beyond your bandwidth in this compromised state.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have some pre-organized facts about your symptoms and questions that you could just share with your doctor, without having to depend on your fuzzy memory?

With the ACPA Communication Tools like the “Preparing For Your Health Care Visit” form, you can outline the types of medication and therapies you have used to manage your pain and the effect they had on your symptoms and functioning.  The “Pain Log” allows you to track the things that trigger your headaches, like stress and weather as well as the impact your pain has on daily activity. 

These tools allow you to organize your information before your doctor visits.  After your visit, you may find the “Follow-up From Your Visit” printable tool handy.  It allows you to note information like the type of diagnostic testing you need to undergo, follow up visits, and therapies your doctor may have recommended for your chronic headache condition. 

Before you go all-out celebrating Pain Awareness Month and spreading the word within your community, remember to avoid your chronic migraine triggers like red wine, chocolate, and loud noise.  Isn’t it exciting to be a part of a cause that may actually help improve the way migraine sufferers are treated and promote headache therapy research and development?

 

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