Chronic pain is often misunderstood and stigmatized by the general public. U.S. Pain believes that, in order to create positive change in the perception of pain, people living with chronic pain must share their stories far and wide. We encourage pain warriors to compose an op-ed or letter to the editor for their hometown paper to help promote a better public understanding of the challenges faced by pain patients.

Op-eds and letters to the editor are a great way to raise awareness about a particular issue. Op-eds are usually 500-750 words and address the writer’s perspective on an important topic. Letters to the editor are shorter, at 150-200 words, and usually address a previously published news story.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

  • Make sure your op-ed or letter to the editor is timely. Try to tie your point to a recent news item, editorial, letter or event involving pain awareness.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid using complicated sentences, big words, and acronyms.
  • Avoid personal attacks, offensive language and political name-calling (e.g, “far right,” or “liberal”). Such language will turn off the average reader.
  • If possible submit your piece by email (preferred). Newspapers typically list on their editorial pages or websites the email addresses for submitting letters to the editor.
  • Be sure to include your contact information so that the newspaper can verify that you sent the submission.

Questions to think about:

U.S. Pain understands the amount of bravery required to share your experiences. We have created these materials to ensure that you have the resources needed to tell your story.

Email questions to emily@uspainfoundation.org  or shaina@uspainfoundation.org. Please share your op-eds and letters to the editor with U.S. Pain so that we can celebrate your achievements with you. Submit published write-ups by filling out the Publication Submission form.