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Dear IMS Members and Supporters,

Myopain conditions are the most common cause of chronic pain. Chronic pain conditions are the #1 reason for seeking care, #1 cause of disability and addiction, and #1 driver of health care costs, costing more than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (Institute of Medicine, 2011). The personal impact in terms of suffering, dysfunction, disability, depression, addiction, loss of work, conflict and other consequences is incalculable.  Everyone, at some point in their lives, has experienced acute muscle pain associated with trauma or repetitive strain.  Yet, few people recognize that these conditions are the most common cause of chronic pain and associated with more visits to health professionals than any other pain condition. Two prior studies of clinic populations found that muscle pain conditions were cited as the most common cause of pain, responsible for 54.6% of chronic head and neck pain and 85% of back pain. Another study, in a general internal medicine practice, found that among those patients that presented with pain, myopain conditions were found in 29.6% of the patient population and were the most common cause of presenting pain. The lack of awareness of these myopain pain conditions in clinical practice is surprising.

Thus, understanding the etiology, diagnosis, management and prevention of myopain conditions are critical for all healthcare professionals, patients, and the health systems that they work in. The International MYOPAIN Society works to be an inclusive organization with members representing all clinical areas. Please consider joining if you are not currently a member. Here are some activities that have occurred in the past year and plans for the next year. We would be excited to have you as part of them. 

  • MYOPAIN a journal of myofascial pain and fibromyalgia. Dr. Michael Sorrell, IMS Board Member and Editor In Chief along with editorial board members have updated the journal to present the most innovative research in myofascial pain and fibromyalgia. The journal will be published quarterly both on-line and in print.
  • MYOPAIN 2107. We are pleased to announce MYOPAIN 2017: The Tenth World Congress on Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Syndrome, in Bangalore, India from October 4-8, 2017 at the ITC Gardenia, one of the finest hotels in South Asia.  Please put a visit to beautiful exotic India and this meeting on your schedule. The pre-conference workshop is on October 4 and post-conference workshop on October 8, 2017. Optional Satellite courses including Fascial Manipulation level I September 20-25, 2017, Fascial Manipulation level II September 27-October 2, 2017, and Fascial Manipulation Level III October 9-15, 2017 will also be offered.
  • National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists (NAMTPT). Mary Biancalana, IMS Board Member, is the president of NAMTPT and through this affiliation the IMS has been invited to co-sponsor a meeting in the fall of 2017 in Chicago. Please look under the "Events" tab on this site for further details.
  • Regional IMS Chapters.  We currently have IMS Chapters in Germany, Thailand, Belgium, Australia, United States, India, and others are in discussion. As part of this, we are planning IMS regional meetings to provide you with valuable clinical seminars and topical workshops to learn the practical strategies of caring for patients with these common conditions. Look for them.
  • MYOPAIN Library. The growing on-line Myopain Library provides its members with educational resources for patients and health professionals to use in their clinics. We are interested in sponsors for meetings, sessions, and exhibits at these meetings. We continue to offer the On-Line Course on Preventing Chronic Pain We continue to offer the On-Line Course on Preventing Chronic Pain at http://www.coursera.org/course/chronicpain. We have had over 45,000 registrants to date. 93% of those evaluating the course believed that it changed their life, and 85% believed that it changed the care of their patients. "This course is one of the most generous offerings that I have ever encountered. There is so much life-changing, life-affirming information available to anyone is rare and amazing. I am VERY grateful for it." 
  • Sponsorship of the Campaign for Preventing Chronic Pain and Addiction. The Campaign at www.preventingchronicpain.org needs your support. The 3 goals of the campaign includes; 1) expand research and development on the causes of chronic pain, expand education on how to prevent chronic pain through on-line training in the Toolkits for Preventing Chronic Pain, and expand advocacy to increase awareness of the importance of preventing chronic pain through employer engagement programs. This program will help reduce pain, absenteeism, and disability, reduce health care costs, improve productivity, mood and relationships, and enhance recruitment and retention of employees. Each Employer Toolkit includes staff training seminar for implementation, on-line assessment and self-management training for each employee to reduce their risk factors and enhance protective factors, books, handouts, and pain preventing tools.
  • Preventing Chronic Pain Research Grants. We currently have a National Institute of Grant to support development and testing of these preventing chronic pain toolkits. They will be completed early in 2017 and begin testing them at that time. Any contribution to the Campaign will provide the donor with early access to the Toolkits when they are available.  We also have several other grant applications in process.
  • Legal Update. As you may not know, our previous executive director, Lawrence Bodkin, in 2013, swindled the IMS out its life savings and meeting reserves. This has seriously crippled the organization and, subsequently the IMS has had to rely on the generosity of a few board members to survive. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now prosecuting Mr. Bodkin. He will most likely serve jail time, especially since the FBI discovered he also embezzled from several other groups. Unfortunately, the IMS has not been able to recoup any funds and its financial status is very weak. Thus, we appreciate any additional tax deductible contributions to fund the IMS and/or its campaign for Preventing Chronic Pain and Addiction. Any donation of $100 or more will allow you to be one of the first to receive the “Toolkits for Preventing Chronic Pain”. 

In conclusion, I also want to thank Executive Director, Rae Gleason, for her unending energy and dedication to the IMS and the field of chronic pain and myopain conditions. She has helped the IMS continue to do its job on a shoestring budget for the past 2 years. Please support the IMS and its continued success in 2017.  

Sincerely,

Dr. James R Fricton,                                                                                                                           President, International Myopain Society