HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM)  – September is Pain Awareness Month in the United States. The American Chronic Pain Association declared this month as an opportunity to raise awareness of pain management and issues that can arise regarding chronic pain.

Millions of people in America suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined simply as pain that lasts longer than it is expected to. Burning your finger on the stove should only leave you in pain for around a week. But, if the pain extends that time, it is considered chronic pain.

Fortunately, there are several ways to relieve chronic pain. Physical therapy is a popular option as it can be used to heal people of all ages. Injections such as cortisone can help decrease your body’s natural response to pain and reduce symptoms such as swelling. There are also chiropractors you can seek for help with pain throughout several areas of your body. Surgery, which is often the last resort, can also treat chronic pain permanently in some cases.

The main goal of doctors when they help treat your chronic pain is to help you feel your best. While over the counter pain killers such as Advil or Tylenol can relieve pain temporarily, Dr. Simon Shapiro, interventional pain management physician at Guthrie Hospital says it is important to know the warning signs of chronic pain and what options may be available for you.

“The importance of spreading awareness on these topics is that they are so common. They effect so many people and yet people may not know all of the options that are available for them,” Dr. Shapiro says. “Knowing what is available and what fits right for the patient is extremely important.”