The U.S. Centers for Disease Control Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids 2016 were published on March 15 and restrict access to opioid medications at the expense of the lives and increased suffering of people with chronic pain.
An estimated 10 million Americans, 2 to 4 percent of population, have FM – a common illness involving long-term, body-wide pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, memory problems and impaired functionality – as a primary diagnosis. Accessible, effective treatments do not exist for the majority of people with fibromyalgia or chronic pain.
To increase scientific research funding for multidisciplinary treatments for pain and to raise awareness of the challenges people with chronic pain face, the NFMCPA is sponsoring Together Walks in May across the United States. The organization has partnered with experienced Leaders Against Pain to organize, promote and carry out the details of each Together Walk. The mission of the walks is to increase FM awareness, education, resources, and support for research in the general public, medical communities, legislators, and people affected by FM.
“One hundred million American adults live with the disease of chronic pain, and many of them rely on a combination of therapies to function,” said Jan Chambers, president of the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA). “That combination treatment often includes strong pain medications.”
How do you answer a 13-year old’s questions about his hopes for the future after being diagnosed with FM? What happens in the homes of parents with FM who cannot participate in taking care of their family? When will better treatments and a cure for this disabling disorder be found?
Government funding for research into chronic pain treatments is limited and diminishing in the face of new legislation, like the release of the CDC Opioid Guidelines. Together Walks are a step toward finding new treatments for chronic pain. The events unite communities to raise FM awareness, advocate for better access to care, and encourage and fund research that leads to better treatments.
These local events celebrate May 12 Fibromyalgia Awareness Day to recognize what patients have overcome, to remember those lost to the illness, and to honor people who have fought or are fighting fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Every voice matters in changing how fibromyalgia is perceived, treated, and researched.
The NFMCPA calls upon individuals living with chronic pain and their friends, family and caregivers to participate. The organization invites everyone to attend the Virtual Together Walk or to participate live in Richmond, Virginia; Nashville, Tennessee; Portland, Oregon; Kissimmee or Coral Springs, Florida; and Louisville, Kentucky. If you are unable to walk, you can still participate by creating a fundraising team at crowdrise.com/togetherwalks. The NFMCPA appreciates your continued support. For more information or to register now, please visit togetherwalks.org.