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WHEREAS, pain is a major health problem that many individuals face in the United States, regardless of age, gender, or race; and
WHEREAS, pain that lasts more than several months is defined as chronic pain; and
WHEREAS, chronic pain may result from an underlying disease or health condition, injury, medical treatment, inflammation, or problem in the nervous system; and
WHEREAS, chronic pain can affect the quality of life and productivity, and may be accompanied by difficulty in moving around, disturbed sleep, anxiety, depression, and other issues; and
WHEREAS, in 2008, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), about 100 million adults in the United States were affected by chronic pain, including joint pain or arthritis; and
WHEREAS, research funded by the Institute of Medicine Committee on Advancing Pain and Research, Care, and Education found that the total financial cost of pain to society ranged from $560 to $635 billion when calculating the health care costs and the value of lost productivity; and
WHEREAS, there are numerous approaches to treating chronic pain, such as complementary health approaches like acupuncture, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, meditation, tai chi, and yoga; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Pain Foundation’s mission is to educate, connect, inform, empower, and advocate on behalf of its 80,000 members and all those who live with chronic pain; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Pain Foundation provides education on pain management skills and constructive ways to cope with pain and find fulfillment in life; and
WHEREAS, Pain Awareness Month serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the effects of chronic pain, and increase knowledge and access to pain care for those who suffer from chronic pain;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 2018 as PAIN AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.