Massage therapy is a key component in pain prevention. In recognition of September’s designation as Pain Awareness Month, the American Pain Foundation today announced the launch of the first-ever Conquering Pain Together campaign, to bring awareness to the millions of Americans who do not have access to effective pain care.

Aspects of the program include a National Day of Action scheduled for Sept. 26 and an online petition to improve access to appropriate and effective pain care for all, called I COMMIT.

Massage therapy has been found to improve levels of pain and distress in pediatric patients with chronic pain; decrease severity of pain among long-term care workers; and decrease pain, anxiety and sleep disturbance in individuals with lower-back pain. These are three of many studies that have shown a relationship between massage and pain relief.

The foundation encourages Americans to bring pain to the forefront and address the barriers that are preventing millions of Americans from receiving access to appropriate pain management by participating in activities planned in their own communities or utilizing the Conquering Pain Together toolkit to plan their own event.

“With the recent inclusion of the National Pain Care Policy Act 2009 (S660) as an amendment to the National Healthcare Reform Bill, it is imperative that people struggling with pain, their caregivers, family members and members of the medical community come together now as part of a national movement to have their voices heard,” said Will Rowe, chief executive officer of the foundation.

“Despite the high prevalence of pain, there are barriers including limited access to health insurance, limited access to prescribed pain treatments, limited access to pain specialists who have been properly trained in pain management and negative stereotypes about people in pain that are preventing millions of people in communities all across our country from receiving proper care,” Rowe added.

Pain Awareness Month activities and the National Day of Action events have been planned throughout the country by members of the foundation’s Power Over Pain Action Network, a grassroots advocacy effort of 85 volunteer leaders in 35 states. To learn more about specific local events, or to view the online I COMMIT petition and online toolkit, visit the Conquering Pain Together Web site at