An Important View on Pain as a 5th Vital Sign

For two decades, much has been made of Pain as the 5th Vital Sign, a policy strategy to improve pain care initiated in the mid-1990s. “Calor, dolor, rubor and tumor,” i.e., heat, pain, redness and swelling, however, have been recognized as classical signs of a serious health problem since the 1st century.

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There's a better way.

Better chronic pain treatment will improve the lives
of millions of Americans, save billions of dollars, and
reduce opioid misuse.

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No Longer Silent

Better chronic pain treatment will improve the lives
of millions of Americans, save billions of dollars, and
reduce opioid misuse.

Learn More

Lost in Chaos:
The State of Chronic Pain
in 2016

Millions of Americans living with chronic pain struggle because two important public health issues—chronic pain and opioid addiction—are misunderstood and have been conflated. Tension and misunderstanding surrounding chronic pain and opioid addiction characterize the state of pain in 2016.

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Our mission is to transform the way pain is perceived, judged and treated.

Educate

To educate the public about chronic pain as a disease, reframe the current dialogue on pain management and accurately articulate the relationship to the opioid epidemic. Learn more.

Engage

To bring people living with chronic pain — as well as caregivers and researchers — to talk openly about their values, beliefs, perceptions, and experiences. Learn more.

Advocate

To develop working relationships with policy makers and organizations that advocate for legislative and regulatory initiatives to positively impact people living with chronic pain. Learn more.

Face of Pain:

Ken Babb

“When you take pain medication, it doesn’t matter who you are. Everyone is questioning you all the time. It is a very dehumanizing treatment. You’re treated as a druggie with a drug-seeking habit. That’s all you are.”

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Face of Pain:

Jonathan Bell

“I had to learn to live with the disease and to work around it. It boils over into everyday life,” Bell said. “There’s no book to tell you how to live with the disease. It’s just learning as you go.”

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PAINS Blog

The Back Pain Industry: “Crooked” or Well-Meaning?

by Carolyn Noel, Webmaster - PAINS Project A few weeks ago, I read an article entitled, "The $100 billion per year back pain industry is mostly a hoax" which discussed the release of a new book about back pain. As a person who has lived with back pain for over 15...

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No Longer Silent: Reflections

Editor's Note: PAINS-KC is a group of approximately 50 “Citizen/Leaders” (C/Ls) who live with chronic pain or care for a family member who does. PAINS convened this group more than four years ago for the purpose of advising its management team about program...

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New Member of PAINS Team

We are excited to welcome Lesli Hill to PAINS team as the Volunteer Coordinator of PAINS Advisory Committee. PAINS is a program of the Center for Practical Bioethics that is governed by an outstanding Board of Directors. We are grateful that the Center’s Board has...

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