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

Chronic Pain Research Alliance

Who They Are The Chronic Pain Research Alliance (CPRA) is the country’s first and only research-led collaborative advocacy effort dedicated to changing the lives of those with Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs). Their Mission With the ultimate goal of...

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National Pain Strategy Implementation Meeting

The National Pain Strategy Implementation Meeting began with Dr. Thomas Novotny, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS, welcoming everyone (approximately 40 people attended; many others joined by phone). He shared that, although they are still forming their...

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