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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, empower, support, and advocate for adults and children with chronic pain and their caregivers; and
WHEREAS, increased awareness about the effects of chronic pain results in better outcomes, increased access to effective pain care, and empowerment and validation for those living with pain;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize September 2019 as PAIN AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.