Since 2001, the impact of pain on the nation’s wellness has been marked by Pain Awareness Month each September. According to a 2019 study by the CDC, one-fifth of American adults live with chronic pain. It also found that the percentage of adults with chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain increased as place of residence became more rural. Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that about 10 percent of people using an opioid for chronic pain develop an opioid use disorder.
“As we mark the 2021 Pain Awareness Month, we encourage Mainers to use Healthy Living for ME’s free and low-cost resources to help them manage their ongoing pain and related conditions. Our workshops and other resources treat the whole person, so the people we serve are able to create healthy habits and improve their overall wellness, both physically and emotionally,” said Kristin Overton, chief strategy officer of Healthy Living for ME.
Participants have reported positive results from Healthy Living for Maine’s chronic pain workshops, noting that the workshops have helped them to return to favorite hobbies and activities, to gain confidence in managing their persistent pain, and to improve in self-advocacy.
Persistent pain conditions may include, but are not limited to, arthritis, back pain, headaches, postsurgical pain, or fibromyalgia. Topics covered during Healthy Living for ME’s chronic pain workshops include techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, isolation, and poor sleep; exercise; nutrition; communicating with family, friends, and health professionals; and the appropriate use of medications.
Healthy Living for ME offers free and low-cost workshops virtually, over the phone, and in-person to adults of all ages. Workshops offered include those that directly address chronic/ongoing pain, as well as others to manage overall chronic/ongoing conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes; falls prevention programs; caregiver support; and others. A listing of upcoming workshops — including several scheduled to start in September — is available at www.healthylivingforme.org. People who would like to participate virtually but do not have the technology to do so may be eligible to borrow an iPad from Healthy Living for ME.
Healthy Living for ME also welcomes referrals from healthcare providers. Our evidence-based programming can help patients manage and prevent conditions before they become more serious or result in emergency situations.
Healthy Living for ME is a statewide network of local organizations, health systems and volunteers that work together to empower individuals to take control of their health. Through tailored services, we provide free and low-cost options that are personalized to focus on the entire individual rather than a single condition to improve overall quality of life.