Chronicle

The Chronicle is published quarterly by the American Chronic Pain Association. Click below to view our most current newsletters or view past articles from the Archives page. Sign-up to receive future newsletters via email by clicking here.

 

December 2016 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Shine a Light on Living with Pain:  Too often we allow our pain to remain invisible. Do your doctors know your pain goals? For many, the goal is to be able to live a fully functional life.

  • Focus on Body, Mind, and Spirit: Two ACPA facilitators consider their whole selves when they set manageable goals. See how they found new opportunities for giving and growth.

  • Sharing our Mission — One-on-One: See how ACPA support groups around the country spread awareness in their communities during Pain Awareness Month this past September.

  • What has the ACPA Done for You? Read how one person with pain fights being mislabeled with addiction.

  • Surveys Reveal Attitudes on Pain Around the World: Half of the people with pain who were surveyed can't get the medications they need; 27 percent have thought about suicide.

  • Meet our New ACPA Board Member: Jonathan Cohen, medical student, believes future doctors should understand the person behind the patient, particularly for people with chronic pain.

Plus… medical news you should know, book reviews, tributes, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.


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August 2016 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • September is Pain Awareness Month:  Pain organizations have united to find ways to improve pain treatment and spread awareness. During September, write to your legislators to help us implement the National Pain Strategy.
  • Take Control of Your Treatment: Read about two facilitators who take an active role in their medical care by being fully prepared and self-aware.
  • Find the Strength to Claim Your Basic Rights: When you have chronic pain, it can be hard to advocate for yourself and get the care you deserve. Two ACPA facilitators have traveled a winding path to reach that goal.
  • Helping People with Pain, One at a Time: While the ACPA focuses on the impact of pain on individual lives, we also want to enact changes in the way our government funds research, treats chronic pain and pays for healthcare.
  • For Pain Awareness Month, Share Your Story: Tell us what the ACPA has done to change your life. Sharing your story lets others know that progress toward a happier life is possible.
  • Exercise helps Reduce Bouts of Back Pain: Any kind of exercise can help reduce the risk of repeated low back pain.

Plus… ACPA news and tools, book reviews, tributes, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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April 2016 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Patient-Centered Care: When you are at the center of your care, you are the captain of your healthcare team. It’s important that you have a voice—and use it—when it comes to health decisions. Read how a physician wants her patients to be involved in their care.
  • Take Control of Your Treatment: Read about two facilitators who take an active role in their medical care by being fully prepared and self-aware.
  • When Patients Become Researchers: The results of a new PCORI study that invited people with pain to drive the assessment process of a pain questionnaire.
  • Making Chronic Pain Research Accessible: A new website from the Pain Research Forum lets everyone understand scientific research into pain.
  • Osteoarthritis Action Alliance: Discover this expanding resource for people with osteoarthritis pain, their families, and the public.Plus… ACPA programs and presentations, book reviews, tributes, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

If you also receive the ACPA Chronicle printed edition by mail, please note that the April 2016 issue will be the last to be printed and mailed. The Chronicle will become an online-only newsletter starting in August 2016.


December 2015 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • The Art of Communication: It’s difficult to describe our physical pain and the impact it has on our lives. That’s why the ACPA created tools to help people with pain quickly share information with their healthcare providers.
  • Communications Tools: More than a dozen tools—pain logs, pain maps, ability charts and the Quality of Life Scale—show how pain affects the activities of daily life.
  • Resources for Sharing: Two facilitators look at the communications solutions they use with family and support group members.
  • Home Remodeling Guide: This guide lists resources that can help you remodel a home for full accessibility and remove some physical challenges.
  • Compounded Medications: Compounded transdermal pain creams can be customized for each individual’s specific needs.
  • Board Member Profile: Meet Kevin Weber, who is helping to develop a strategy for the future direction of ACPA.
  • Plus… book reviews, tributes, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.


August 2015 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • ACPA’s 35th Anniversary: The ACPA celebrates 35 years of help, hope, and education. We review our accomplishments and hear from board members—past and present—about the challenges ahead.
  • Years of Living with Pain: Two facilitators look back at their lives and examine how attitudes about pain and treatment have changed over the years. They are grateful for a more patient-centered, better-informed medical community.
  • Pharmacogenetics: Pharmacogenomics studies how genetics affects the way medications work differently for each of us. This science has a role in pain treatment.
  • Contributing to Research: Four ACPA facilitators participated in panels during workshops for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in Washington, D.C.
  • Board Member Profile: Meet Keyola Panza, who has helped us create the ACPA and Growing Pains websites.
  • Plus… book reviews, tributes, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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April 2015 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Family Matters: Pain affects the person with pain, but also the entire family. It’s important for family members to work together so that they can cope with the pain and have as normal a life as possible.
  • Video Focuses on Family: The ACPA has a new, three-part video focused on the family. It looks at the effect that pain has on spouses, relatives, loved ones, and children and how to deal with it.
  • Love and Compassion Bring Joy: Read how ACPA facilitators rely on and appreciate their family members contributions toward having a full and satisfying life.
  • ACPA Update: Pharmacy students in Florida and Zumba instructors in California raise money for the ACPA. We present “Navigating the Maze of Pain” at a conference in May.
  • Meet the Board: A profile of new board member Chris Duncan.
  • Plus… book reviews, news, essays, memorials, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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December 2014 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Communications and Pain Management: People with pain must truly communicate with their health care providers (HCP), to follow through with treatment and express concerns.
  • Using ACPA Communications Tools: From identifying the location of pain to monitoring abilities and quality of life, ACPA graphic tools help you share your progress with caregivers and HCPs.
  • Effective Communications is Empowering: Read how ACPA facilitators learned to improve their communications skills and live better with pain. 
  • Talking with Family and Friends: Expressing yourself is essential to avoid misunderstandings, get the help you need, and learn to say no.
  • Meet the Board: A profile of new board member Lisa Saake.
  • Plus… book reviews, news, essays, memorials, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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September 2014 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • How Exercise and Pain Relate: People with pain sometimes fear that exercise will hurt them. But the opposite can be true. Physical therapy experts discuss how movement can be part of a customized pain management plan.
  • Stretch and Move to Gain Strength: There are almost as many benefits from exercise as there are varieties to try. From yoga to Tai Chi to swimming, exercise can reduce stress, improve health, and increase flexibility.
  • Positive Thinking and Exercise: Read how three ACPA facilitators moved past the pain to bring the physical activities they love back into their lives.
  • Walking: The anytime, anywhere exercise can be the place to start if you are trying to build muscle, improve balance, or just get out of the house.
  • Know Your Dose: An awareness campaign is working; more people understand how to use acetaminophen safely. 
  • Plus… book reviews, facilitator activities, memorials, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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June 2014 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Pacing Yourself: How listening to our bodies can help people with pain stay involved in the activities they love. Facilitators discuss how pacing lets them lead support groups and spend time with hobbies, family and friends.
  • What's Most Important: By identifying the "To Do" list of things that are most important, people with pain can accomplish meaningful tasks, with a new mindset focused on possibility. 
  • Prioritization: Learn how to recognize your priorities and use pacing to reach your goals.
  • PACE: These letters outline the steps to complete goals, Prioritize, Action, Comfort, and Enjoy.
  • Meet a Board Member: JR Lam helps ACPA reach new audiences in the age of social media.
  • Plus… book reviews, support group and veteran activities, memorials, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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March 2014 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Nutrition and Pain Management: Four facilitators talk about how they have adjusted their diets to help manage their pain. Watching what we eat can help all of us achieve better health and fitness. 
  • Eating to Build Health: Dieticians discuss how some foods can aggravate pain, while others may ease inflammation. For arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines, what we eat can make a difference in how we feel. 
  • Board Member Profile: Meet Dr. Donald Manning. His background in pain medicine and pharmaceutical development now benefits the ACPA board of directors.
  • ACPA Updates: Oracle volunteers help out, videos describe NSAID safety, and the 2014 Medication Guide goes online.
  • Plus… book reviews, research news, tributes, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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December 2013 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Enjoying the Holidays: People with pain can still celebrate the holidays.  Pacing, realistic expectations, and being with supportive people are essential to enjoying the season.
  • Creating New Traditions: Three facilitators talk about how delegation, prioritization, and healthy habits can make the holidays a happy time, even if in a different way.
  • Colds, Flu, and Chronic Pain: Treating a cold or the flu requires caution if you also take medications for chronic pain.
  • Computer Scientists Study Music Therapy: Six ACPA members are testing how a mobile app delivers personalized music therapy for pain management.
  • Support Group Celebrates 20th Anniversary: The Chronic Pain Support Group of Southern Maine has been helping members live a good life despite pain for 20 years.
  • Plus… ACPA news and updates, book reviews, letters, memorial tributes, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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September 2013 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • The Art of Pain Management: People with pain use the arts as a creative way to manage pain. Facilitators use painting, music, photography, writing, and scrapbooking to enhance their lives and express their emotions.
  • PAIN Exhibit Artwork: The PAIN Exhibit is a community of artists who share their work to make pain visible and improve communications with healthcare providers.
  • Music Therapy as an Integrated Treatment: Music therapy is increasingly used as a safe, preventive, cost-effective, and symptom-focused treatment.
  • Pet Rabbits are Busy Animal Therapists: A soft, cuddly bunny comforts children in emotional distress and adults who live with chronic pain.
  • Falling from a Car Inspires Writer: Writing and humor helps this facilitator slow down and share the challenges of living with pain.
  • Plus… letters, memorials, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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June 2013 Chronicle


In this issue:

  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM):  How ACPA facilitators  make CAM therapies like biofeedback, acupuncture, and Tai Chi part of their pain management tool box.
  • The Strength of Evidence behind CAM: Reviewing the research about the CAM therapies that work best for chronic low back pain.
  • Growing Pains Website: Young people can connect and share their feelings online through this new social, interactive space.  
  • Gentle Exercise Relieves Pain:  Physical therapy, yoga, and other active and passive techniques can stretch muscles and help manage pain.
  • PACK Video: The ProActive Communication Kit is an educational video for healthcare providers.
  • Loyal Members:  Arlington ACPA support group celebrates 13 years of sharing and giving.
  • Plus...medical news, memorials, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

          Read this issue

 

March 2013 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • How REMS Fights Drug Abuse: A Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics is designed to keep physicians, and those who need these drugs, take safe from risks.
  • Living a Full Life despite the Pain:  Facilitators and sleep experts share practices that can help you rest and enhance the quality of your sleep.   
  • Be Your Own Advocate: Part two reviews how to work with your medical team, get a second opinion, and disagree with your doctor.    
  • Journeys with Fibromyalgia:  Listening to your body is vital for one woman.  Another achieves a healthy lifestyle through adjustments in exercise, diet, medication, and attitude.
  • Plus...ACPA news and events, memorials, new groups, and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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December 2012 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Putting Pain to Rest through Better Sleep: Getting restorative sleep without medications is essential to good health, can reduce pain, and improve quality of life.  
  • Sleeping Wll Despite the Pain:  Facilitators and sleep experts share practices that can help you rest and enhance the quality of your sleep.   
  • Medication: Relieve stress and connect with others through meditation.     
  • Be Your Own Advocate:  Prepare for your medical appointments by organizing your documentation and become an active participant in your health care.
  • Plus...medical news, book reviews, memorials, new groups, tributes and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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September 2012 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Confronting Disparities in Pain Care: Studies show differences in how doctors treat people with pain, based on gender, race, age, or ethnic background.  Doctors and support group facilitators talk about how to rise above disparities to get the treatment you need. them, and others that remain hard to conquer.  
  • Making Pain Visible: ACPA Communications tools make it easier for a physician to understand the effect of pain on daily life and overcome disparities. 
  • Support Groups: A California support group member sews handcrafted medicine bags to focus on his Cherokee Indian heritage instead of his pain.     
  • DPN and The Maze of Pain: hA new ACPA survey highlights significant misperceptions about diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) and prompts development of a new pain management tool.
  • ACPA Update:  The Arthritis Foundation recommends physical activity.  Arthritis is also the topic of a current ACPA survey.
  • Increase Awareness: Check in with the ACPA website during September to see what's happening during Pain Awareness Month. 
  • Veterans in Pain: Veterans can find a way to live with pain by helping other veterans get through difficult times.
  • Plus...medical news, book reviews, memorials, new groups, tributes and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

          Read this issue

 

June 2012 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Maintaining Wellness with the Basics: Though taking the Ten Steps from Patient to Person is the first lesson for many people with chronic pain, it can take years to learn them all. Facilitators review the steps that helped them, and others that remain hard to conquer.  
  • The Ten Steps: These fundamentals provide a guide on how to travel through life with chronic pain, and keep us moving through the journey.
  • Your Basic Rights: Exercising your basic rights can help you live with and relate to others, as a strong and independent person.     
  • ACPA Support Groups: Through the years, ACPA has learned that reaching out to others can help you take care of yourself too.
  • Step up to the Plate:  What happens when a caregiver beomes the one who is cared for, and why you must listen to your body's messages.
  • Veterans in Pain: Veterans can move to a new, positive lifestyle by remembering the lessons of basic training.
  • Plus...book reviews, memorials, new groups, tributes and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

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March 2012 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Two Faces of Fibro: New surveys from the ACPA and Forest Laboratories find that people with fibromyalgia view themselves differently than the public does. 
  • Family Matters: Spouses, children, parents and other relatives are affected when a loved one has chronic pain.  This issue focuses on how these people serve as vital caregivers.
  • Caring for Family Caregivers: Those who care for people with chronic pain must also watch out for their own well-being.  ACPA facilitators talk about how they relate to family members.   
  • Resources for Caregivers: People who live with pain depend on their caregivers, and caregivers can use many books and resources to help themselves.
  • Workers' Compensation: An Orthopedic surgeon shares his ideas for improving the Workers' Comp system by redefining solutions related to ability and motivation. 
  • Veterans in Pain: Online and in-person support groups help veterans achieve a healthier lifestyle by learning to manage their pain. 
  • Research:  University researchers in Pittsburgh collaborate to study chronic pain.
  • Plus..., letters, new groups, tributes and thanks to our corporate sponsors..

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December 2011 Chronicle

In this issue:

  • Relieving Pain in America: The new report from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine validates ACPA’s mission to help individuals with pain. The report calls for a cultural transformation in the way we teach, treat and understand pain. 
  • A Blueprint for the Future: Members of the IOM committee discuss their primary recommendations, emphasizing that pain management is a moral imperative that is best served with interdisciplinary and comprehensive approaches.
  • Individual-Centered Care is Essential: Why complementary and alternative treatments for pain often succeed when other approaches don’t.   
  • Pain Awareness Month: ACPA support group leaders gain recognition for Pain Awareness Month in Maine and Pennsylvania  
  • Veterans in Pain: Online and in-person support groups help veterans achieve a healthier lifestyle by learning to manage their pain
  • For Inspiration and Reflection: Two stories talk about the power of community and reaching out to others. We also review a Buddhist-inspired book that guides the chronically ill and their caregivers.
  • Plus..., letters, new groups, tributes and thanks to our corporate sponsors..

            Read this issue

 

September 2011 Chronicle

September is Pain Awareness Month!

In this issue:
  • The Financial Costs of Pain: Just as we manage the physical and emotional impact of chronic pain, we must also plan for how pain affects our finances. 
  • Living Well with Less: ACPA facilitators discuss how they cope with the economics of pain, and live happily while living frugally.
  • Adjusting to Your Financial Future: When chronic pain limits your earning ability, you must plan for a different future.   
  • Members' Forum: Facilitators and members share their stories about living with pain, helping others, and fighting to stay well.  
  • Veterans in Pain: Veterans have to cope with economic casualties of war. 
  • Insomnia and Chronic Pain in Adolescents: Medical researches explore the connection between sleep and pain in young people. 
  • Medical and Research News: Updates on acetaminophen dosing, complementary and alternative therapies, and using the arts to manage pain.
  • Plus..., book reviews, new groups, tributes and thanks to our corporate sponsors..

            Read this issue


June 2011 Chronicle

In this issue:
  • Connecting Mindfulness and Pain: People with pain can listen to their bodies, be mindful of their emotions, and better manage their pain. 
  • Moment by Moment: ACPA facilitators discuss how they use meditation and relaxation practices to reduce stress and enjoy life.
  • Self-Hypnosis Techniques: Basic hypnosis practices can help people with pain to relax and improve their sleep habits. 
  • Members' Forum: ACPA support group members discuss how attitude and self-awareness help them cope with their pain. 
  • Veterans in Pain: Veterans have their own support groups through the ACPA.
  • REMS to Combat Drug Abuse: Learn more about the steps the federal government is taking to combat prescription drug misuse and abuse.
  • Medical and Research News: Updates on research into pain's biological pathways, pain logs and other news.
  • Plus…book reviews, new groups and how to honor someone special for Pain Awareness Month in September.

            Read this issue


March 2011 Chronicle

In this issue:
  • Pain in the Workplace: Learn how people with pain can keep their jobs and remain productive when pain is their constant companion. 
  • Challenges of Working While Living with Pain: ACPA facilitators discuss how they adjusted their career goals and found meaningful activity when pain forced them to reassess their job prospects.
  • The Value of Work in a Balanced Life: Pain can contribute to a medical disability, but accomodations can help you return to work.
  • Talking About Pain with a new Employer: How those with chronic pain can face a new boss and coworkers. 
  • Don't let Your Job be a Pain: Changes you can make in your work environment to help you manage and avoid pain.
  • Opioid Understanding Lags as Abuse Climbs: An ACPA survey reveals that often people who use opioids don't  understand enough about the drugs to ensure safe use.
  • Plus…poetry, new groups, tributes and thanks to our corporate sponsors.

            Read this issue


 

Development of this new ACPA web site was made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Medtronic Foundation and Purdue Pharma.

Medtronic Foundation and Purdue have no influence on the editorial content of the site. Ongoing funding also comes from memberships/donations from a range of individual contributors.

Last Updated: 3/15/2017
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