Approximately 100 million Americans struggle with some level of pain according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
This is roughly four times more than those afflicted with diabetes and eight times more than those diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, the nationwide costs related to these pain-related issues run as high as $635 billion annually, both is lost wages and expenses acquired while seeking and receiving medical care.
In 2001, the American Chronic Pain Association sought to raise public awareness about the prevalence of pain, and the options that exist to address it, by leading a coalition to establish September as Pain Awareness Month. It has been in existence ever since, offering healthcare professionals the perfect opportunity to increase public knowledge of how widespread pain issues are, and also serving as an annual reminder of how chiropractic can potentially help ease certain pains.
What can you do to accomplish both of these goals at your chiropractic practice? There are a few options to consider.
Spread the word
Highlight Pain Awareness Month with your patients by handing out flyers that explain how common pain is and the various ways chiropractic can potentially help. Some people feel that certain pains are just a part of life—something they have to deal with as they get older—and hearing that this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case could entice them to want to know—and do—more about it.
Additionally, give them links to online resources, directing them to reputable sites to learn more about the benefits of using chiropractic to help treat pain-related conditions. For instance, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has a web page that explains chiropractic care and how it has been found helpful for relieving back pain, easing headaches and migraines, reducing pain that originates in the neck, and various other types of painful conditions.
If you have a monthly newsletter, you can also spread the word by including a blurb about Pain Awareness Month and how you’re committed to helping patients ease their pains. Post about it on your social media pages, sharing the pain-based conditions you can potentially help manage and treat. Send a quick email to past patients reminding them that you’re there to help if they’re dealing with pain issues.
Essentially, use all of the methods you normally employ to reach your target market, using Pain Awareness Month as the reason to reach out.
Offer free promotions
Few things bring more attention to a particular topic than offering something for free. That makes September a great month to give patients complimentary samples of pain-relieving products, such as topicals, oils or creams. You might even want to get ice packs with your practice’s name and logo on them and hand those out as well.
Even something as simple as a candy dish and a placard that says, “Free candy in celebration of Pain Awareness Month” can do the trick. It at least opens the door to a conversation about the pains they have that you can help manage.
You could also go on a larger scale and hold a drawing for a free service (one that isn’t covered by insurance). If you offer acupuncture or another type of alternative therapy in your practice such as sauna, a promotion for a free session can also increase patients’ awareness of the other services available to them, while also promoting your pain awareness and pain management options.
Hold an event
Another option is to hold an event in honor of Pain Awareness Month. Reach out to other area businesses that may want to participate, such as massage therapy practices, physical or occupational therapists, or any other health care professional who regularly deals with pain, and set up a gala all about pain management.
At the event, have images or displays that show how having a misaligned spine can result in pain and other issues. Offer free on-site evaluations or provide discounts for patients who come in after attending the event.
Make it family friendly by having snacks for the kids or pictures they can color while you’re talking to the parents. The easier and more enjoyable you can make it for people to attend, the more likely it is that they will.