Wellness Tip of the Week: Speak up if you are in pain! September is Pain Awareness Month. Pain is a national health care crisis. It is our nation’s hidden epidemic. Ø According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), approximately 100 million adults in the United States suffer from common chronic pain conditions. Ø The annual cost of chronic pain in the U.S. is estimated to be $560-635 billion, including health care expenses, lost income, and lost productivity. People who live with pain have a right to appropriate assessment and treatment of their pain. Ø While pain can affect anyone regardless of gender, race or economic status, some people have difficulty getting adequate pain care. Women, certain ethnic groups and the elderly are more likely to be denied appropriate pain treatment. Ø People who suffer from pain and their loved ones need to speak with their health care professional and take an active role in managing their pain. Ø Pain can and should be treated. We all have a right to proper medical care. For more information on how to best advocate for yourself or loved one regarding pain management visit http://www.inthefaceofpain.com/take-action/videos/ Make time to speak with your wellness nurse if you are concerned about your pain managemet plan.