9 Best Charities That Help Combat Chronic Pain (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Help Combat Chronic Pain (Complete 2022 List)

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Diana Stancu

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Chronic pain affects at least 10% of the world’s population, or approximately 60 million people worldwide.  Despite its commonality, chronic pain is a highly stigmatized experience that’s not formally recognized and patients’ struggles are often misunderstood by family and friends, which leads to isolation and mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Fortunately, charities worldwide are fighting to improve the lives of people living with pain and empower them to reclaim their health. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that help combat chronic pain?

The best charities that help combat chronic pain are the International Pain Foundation, the US Pain Foundation, and the American Chronic Pain Association. Charities like Hope Instilled and Creative Healing for Youth in Pain provide alternative, holistic approaches to pain healing.

Whether you want to ensure that people suffering from chronic pain receive education and support, contribute to the development of better treatments, or help destigmatize chronic pain in the medical community, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that help combat chronic pain are all about, how they work, and what would be your best way to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Help Combat Chronic Pain Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their programs, achievements, and transparency ratings. They mainly operate in the US, the UK, and Australia, but their efforts and research impact chronic pain patients worldwide. 

All of the charities below, fight to increase the knowledge of patients and the medical community about chronic pain by providing educational resources. They also help patients to overcome isolation and improve their mental well-being through support groups and forums to create a sense of community and hope. In addition, some charities partner with researchers and doctors to improve existing treatments and knowledge of chronic pain. Yet, through different means, all of these charities share the same goal of validating the experience of chronic pain and searching for cures.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Help Combat Chronic Pain

Below are our favorite charities that help combat chronic pain:

  • International Pain Foundation 
  • US Pain Foundation 
  • American Chronic Pain Association
  • Pain Relief Foundation 
  • Creative Healing for Youth in Pain
  • Pain Concern
  • Hope Instilled
  • Bowtie Kids
  • Chronic Pain Australia

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

International Pain Foundation: Motivation for a Cure

The International Pain Foundation, also called the Power of Pain Foundation, was founded in 2006 by a group of professionals to support people suffering from medical conditions that involve chronic pain. Today, they help patients and caregivers to improve their lives through education, awareness, and access to care projects.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The International Pain Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We recognize the value of every person who makes up the chronic pain community. We are guided by excellence, leadership and patient empowerment. Whether you have pain or are a caregiver, we’ll help you face the challenges and life changes of chronic pain, head on.”

International Pain Foundation

What they do: The International Pain Foundation aids chronic pain victims with support groups and educational resources, such as webinars, awareness events, and an informational library about conditions associated with chronic pain. They also give insight into the interaction between chronic pain and medicinal drugs while connecting patients with relevant physicians. In addition, they organize annual iPain Summits, offer awards to pain advocates, and run the awareness campaign NERVEmber to strengthen bonds in the chronic pain community. Furthermore, they conduct virtual contests and comic relief shows to bring patients a sense of relief and hope.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the International Pain Foundation has continued to aid people living with chronic pain. For example, in 2020, their NERVEmber project reached over 40 million chronic pain patients and advocates worldwide. They also recruited 465 new advocates into their team. In the same year, they connected 250 doctors and patients through their annual summits and distributed their iPain Living Magazine to 8,600 individuals. Moreover, in 2021, they aided patients with over 10,000 hours of voluntary work and broadcasted 250 chronic pain stories in the media to increase awareness of the condition.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the International Pain Foundation on their website. You can also buy their iPain Living Magazine, participate in their educational events, or listen to their motivational podcast.

US Pain Foundation: Serving Patients With Chronic Pain

The US Pain Foundation was founded in 2006 by Paul Gileno after he suffered a spine nerve injury that caused chronic pain. He decided to create an organization to educate and advocate for people living with chronic conditions that cause pain. Today, the charity improves the lives of people with chronic pain by challenging social stigma and supporting care programs.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The US Pain Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

As an organization created by people with pain for people with pain, we strive to be the leading source of support for those living with pain, as well as their caregivers. We are here to offer validation, information, support, and above all—hope.”

US Pain Foundation

What they do: The US Pain Foundation offers an informational library of treatment options, self-management of chronic pain, and complementary healing therapies. They also help patients deal with the psychological effects of chronic pain and connect them with helpful clinical trials. In addition, they offer educational materials, such as webinars with pain experts and online surveys for patients. Also, their MyPainPlan site allows users to explore and create personalized treatments for chronic pain management. Moreover, they run support groups for adult patients and a special program for youth in chronic pain. They also advocate for better policies for pain care and run an awareness magazine to share stories of chronic pain fighters.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the US Pain Foundation has published 19 issues and over 100,000 copies of their INvisible Project magazine, featuring stories about 200 people experiencing chronic pain. Moreover, in 2020, they helped 1,300 individuals to participate in 25 advocacy campaigns for chronic pain policies and awareness. In the same year, more than 1,700 patients created custom pain care plans using their MyPainPlan site, choosing among 85 treatment options. In addition, the charity held 19 educational webinars for pain management that reached nearly 22,500 people in need.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the US Pain Foundation on their website. You can also contribute by volunteering, fundraising, or joining their community events

American Chronic Pain Association: Facing Chronic Pain

The American Chronic Pain Association was founded in 1980 by Penney Cowan. After many years of living with chronic pain, she initiated support groups with other chronic pain patients to learn and maintain wellness skills. Today, the charity operates programs and support groups worldwide to offer constructive methods for dealing with chronic pain.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The American Chronic Pain Association has a 95% Encompass score for Finance & Accountability from Charity Navigator. The charity also holds the Seal of Excellence by America’s Best Charities, meeting their standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness.

Our mission is to facilitate peer support, education, and hope for individuals living with pain conditions. Our groups welcome anyone who is living with an ongoing pain problem.

American Chronic Pain Association

What they do: The American Chronic Pain Association offers informational resources and potential treatment options to help people living with chronic conditions to understand their pain. The charity also helps patients through pain management programs and by connecting them to clinical trials. In addition, they support patients’ mental health by sharing guides to create healthy social boundaries and constructive coping skills to handle pain more efficiently. They also teach patients to improve their lives holistically and live purposefully despite their struggles. For this, the charity organizes support groups across the US to help people share their stories and create bonds. 

What they’ve achieved: Today, the American Chronic Pain Association runs 830 support groups across all US states and 10 countries worldwide to connect and empower chronic pain patients. For example, they teamed up with AgrAbility to conduct a series of presentations to promote awareness of chronic pain to farmers and ranchers in 10 rural communities. Furthermore, they charity developed a broad video library of supportive resources for patients, such as the Veterans in Pain series. In addition, their Family Matters series gives actionable advice for when a member suffers from a chronic and painful condition.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the American Chronic Pain Association on their website. You can also join their local support groups or become a member of the organization

Pain Relief Foundation: The Impact of Chronic Pain Must Not Be Ignored

The Pain Relief Foundation was founded in 1979 in the UK by Sampson Lipton and his colleagues to create a research institute to discover causes and treatments for chronic pain. Today, the charity funds research to support patients impacted by chronic pain and educates the medical community about painful conditions.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, The Pain Relief Foundation spent 87% of their total income on research projects, 5.7% on fundraising, and 1.2% on educational services.

We believe we can enable people with chronic pain to live active and fulfilling lives by increasing society’s awareness of disabling chronic pain, campaigning for fair treatment and investing in research that people need.

The Pain Relief Foundation

What they do: The Pain Relief Foundation provides informational resources on conditions associated with chronic pain. They also conduct the Pain Management Program, a rehabilitation service that teaches patients how to improve their lives and relationships while living with chronic pain. In addition, the charity runs the Pain Research Institute in Liverpool where pain researchers can advance knowledge through laboratory and clinical trials to establish better treatments. For this, the charity awards scientific grants to promising researchers and supports pain lecturers to educate the medical community about the causes of chronic pain.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Pain Relief Foundation’s Pain Management Program has become the largest and most successful initiative of its kind in the UK. Each year, the charity offers 6 pain management course options that help more than 400 individuals to increase their mental well-being. In addition, the charity has funded 60 scientific grants worth over $4,5 million to tens of researchers. For example, in 2020 alone, they invested in 11 grants worth $188,000 in total. Furthermore, between 2017 and 2022, they initiated 17 research initiatives that involved 50 scientists and lecturers

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Pain Relief Foundation on their website. You can also donate to their research into treatments for fibromyalgia. In addition, you can contribute by fundraising or starting a corporate partnership.

Creative Healing for Youth in Pain: Empowering Youth Living With Chronic Pain

Creative Healing for Youth in Pain was founded in 2005 by pediatric pain doctor Lonnie Zeltzer to spread the life-saving message that chronic pain is real and teens who experience it are not alone. Today, the charity helps youth with chronic pain and their families with opportunities for creative expression.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Creative Healing for Youth in Pain holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Our mission is to help teens suffering from chronic pain to heal by altering the brain’s pain circuits using education, peer connection and the creative brain.

Creative Healing for Youth in Pain

What they do: Creative Healing for Youth in Pain provides helpful resources for teens and their parents to better understand how and why chronic pain is expressed. They also teach teen patients how creative healing can improve their lives by changing the mind-body connection. Moreover, the charity organizes creative healing workshops and summer camps for youth in pain to practice the benefits of creative expression. They also offer teens multiple support groups, online community meetings, and bonding social platforms to share their stories and struggles with other peers in similar circumstances.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Creative Healing for Youth in Pain has continued to help families fight against chronic pain. For example, they developed a parenting blog and various webinar series to help parents understand their children’s pain and creative healing journey. They also established the Parent CHYPchat and the 8-week support program Parent Creating Bonds to encourage discussions among parents of children with chronic pain. Furthermore, numerous teens who attended their programs shared how the programs improved their life quality and understanding of chronic pain.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Creative Healing for Youth in Pain on their website. You can also sign up for their newsletter or follow their social accounts on Twitter and Facebook

Pain Concern: Bringing the Pain Community Together

Pain Concern was founded in 1995 in the UK by chronic pain patients and health professionals to offer support and education to people living with chronic and painful conditions. Today, they fight to improve policies, public understanding, treatment, and pain management for patients.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Pain Concern spent 78% on charitable activities and 22% on fundraising events.

We work to improve the lives of people living with pain and those who care for them.

Pain Concern

What they do: Pain Concern aids the chronic pain community by offering supportive resources for types of chronic pain and how to manage them. They also run the Airing Pain podcast where patients can share their struggles and specialists offer them advice for better treatments and pain care. In addition, the charity runs a helpline to support and empower callers living with chronic pain. Furthermore, their HealthUnlocked online community helps members to share their experiences and enables the charity to inform health professionals about patients’ needs. Moreover, they run awareness campaigns to increase government funding for chronic pain.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Pain Concern has continued to provide valuable help to the chronic pain community. For example, in 2009, they were awarded first place in the NAPP Chronic Pain Awards and received a $10,000 prize that they used to produce over 100 episodes of their Airing Pain podcast. In addition, in 2018, they developed the Breaking Barriers project to improve patients’ skills for self-care when living with chronic pain. In the same year, they created the Self-Management Navigator Tool to help health professionals understand patients’ chronic pain holistically and offer better support.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Pain Concern through their website. You can also contribute by volunteering, fundraising, or buying their Pain Matters magazine.

Hope Instilled: An Oasis From the Darkness of Pain

Hope Instilled was founded in 2016 by Jory Pradjinski, who has been living with multiple painful conditions since 1987. He created the organization to provide education and direct support to people living with chronic pain. Today, the charity improves the life quality and outcomes of those suffering from painful conditions.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Hope Instilled holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

As the founder, I believed I was put through this challenging journey for a reason. Hope was the one thing that kept me going, and now we can offer it to other patients.

Hope Instilled

What they do: Hope Instilled holds a broad resource center of information about chronic pain. They offer insight into holistic approaches to pain relief such as acupuncture, neurofeedback, or magnetic therapies, that ease symptoms or eliminate constant pain. They also provide information about ayurvedic and integrative medicines, natural remedies, or mind-body practices to help people address their chronic pain holistically and improve their healing potential. In addition, they connect people in need with specialists who can support their healing journeys, such as holistic practitioners, alternative medicine therapists, and wellness coaches

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Hope Instilled has continued to aid people living with chronic pain. For example, they have established the peer-to-peer support group Hope Against Pain which offers a 10-stage rehabilitation program inspired by the founder’s journey to well-being. The program has offered both in-person and online meetings and created a safe space for members to share their experiences. They have also developed a therapeutic blog with tens of articles across 16 topics to help people heal their pain holistically. In addition, they created a library of original books and videos to alleviate patients’ struggles.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Hope Instilled on their website. You can also subscribe to their newsletter or share your chronic pain story. In addition, you can follow their social accounts on Facebook and Twitter

Bowtie Kids: Courage and Confidence for Kids With Chronic Pain

Bowtie Kids was founded in 2009 by Karen Prescod after she had been experiencing severe chronic pain for many years. Frustrated at the lack of focus on children living with pain, she created an organization to transform the lives of families affected by chronic pain. Today, the charity supports afflicted youth through community work and self-development practices. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Bowtie Kids hold the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

​We strive to increase the social and emotional learning capacity of children and families impacted by chronic pain to reduce the levels of mental struggles and suicide rates through interactive and experiential learning.

Bowtie Kids

What they do: Bowtie Kids supports parents of children in chronic pain by educating them about alternative remedies such as meditation, yoga, or psychotherapy, to address a wide range of causes for the pain. They also connect impacted families with various physical therapies like acupuncture or craniosacral therapy to support their children’s well-being and relieve their symptoms. Moreover, the charity runs a monthly Kids Club to create an uplifting environment for children and a supportive community for their parents. In addition, they offer a gardening program where youth learn to connect their holistic wellness to the health and maturity of the plants they are growing

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Bowtie Kids has continued to provide support to children living with chronic pain. For example, between 2018 and 2021, they ran four online bowtie contests to bring awareness to talented people in their community. In the same period, they created four Tie the Knots events to encourage children with painful conditions to express themselves creatively. Furthermore, in 2021 and 2022, they organized the Courage and Confidence Awards and the Web-a-Thorn for Wellness event to empower youth with chronic pain and help their caregivers.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Bowtie Kids on their website. You can also get involved by volunteering or donating to their Bowtie Garden Community. In addition, you can participate in their Courage and Confidence Awards.

Chronic Pain Australia: National Voice for Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain Australia was founded in 2006 by Dr. Coralie Wales to improve the existing knowledge and support available for people living with pain. Today, the charity offers web-based resources, community care, and advocacy resources to chronic pain patients and caregivers.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Chronic Pain Australia spent 52% on personnel expenses, 44.4% on support services, and 3% on administrative expenses.

We are dedicated to supporting Australians in effectively managing their pain to preserve their dignity and self-respect. We empower chronic pain warriors to work towards supported self-management of their pain.

Chronic Pain Australia

What they do: Chronic Pain Australia partners with policymakers to improve health outcomes for the chronic pain community. In addition, they fight to destigmatize the experience of living with chronic pain and ensure the medical community acknowledges patients’ lived experiences. Moreover, they run an online community forum to improve the life quality of people living with pain by creating connections and sharing tips for pain management. Furthermore, the charity connects patients with ethical research studies and clinical trials to improve existing pain treatments. 

What they’ve achieved: Today, Chronic Pain Australia is the voice for tens of thousands of Australians living with chronic pain. For example, they established the first Australian chronic pain awareness campaign, the National Pain Week, which they hold every year. They have also started the world’s first support hotline for people living with chronic pain. Moreover, their online discussion forum has expanded to serve 3000 members. Additionally, in 2022, they developed the Triple AAA Standards of Care initiative and advocated with legislators and the medical community for a basic standard of care for Australians suffering from chronic pain. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Chronic Pain Australia on their website. You can also join as an individual or corporate member to improve your knowledge of chronic pain. In addition, you can fundraise or become a corporate partner

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that help combat chronic pain. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to combating chronic pain – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Diana

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Diana Stancu

Diana loves to research and write about topics that bring awareness to communities in need. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and considers herself a lifelong learner who strives to increase her knowledge and expertise. Outside of work, she enjoys writing fiction, creating cooking recipes, studying philosophy, and taking sunset photos.

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