Letter from the IASP President
Dear IASP members and supporters,
I am pleased to announce the 2012-2013 Global Year Against
Visceral Pain campaign, which will launch on Monday, October
15, 2012. This year, the IASP initiative will focus global attention on
pain that originates in or near the internal organs of the body.
Visceral pain is the most frequent form of pain, felt by most people
at one time or another, the number one reason for patients to seek
medical attention, and yet it is insufficiently treated as it is
considered just a symptom of an underlying disease: if we treat the
disease the pain will go away - an approach that ignores that many forms
of visceral pain are diseases in their own right and require focused and
Monday's launch includes a press release in a variety of languages, a
series of fact sheets examining the many aspects of visceral pain, a
poster, and other resources for you to learn more about this important
topic. Many are available to download at no cost.
Urogenital pain expert Timothy Ness, MD, PhD (USA) and
gastroenterologist Qasim Aziz, PhD, FRCP (UK), led an international IASP
task force to plan this year's campaign and author the fact sheets.
These initial nine fact sheets are available to download free in five
World Health Organization (WHO) languages (English, French, Spanish,
simple Chinese, and Arabic). Later in the year, IASP will post
additional fact sheets and translations, as well as announcements of
events and meetings that are planned on the visceral pain theme. We
encourage you to join the campaign in a variety of ways:
- Disseminate information on visceral pain throughout the world.
- Educate pain researchers and clinicians in your region, as well as
the larger global community of health care professionals who interact
- Increase awareness of visceral pain among government officials,
media, and the general public worldwide.
- Encourage government leaders, research institutions, and other key
decision-makers to support more research, ultimately producing more
effective and accessible treatment methods and outcomes for those who
suffer from visceral pain.
Throughout the one-year campaign, IASP members and chapters will
organize meetings, symposia, patient-education events, publications, and
many other efforts exploring different aspects of visceral pain. News of
these efforts will be posted on the IASP website at www.iasp-pain.org/GlobalYear/VisceralPain
and emailed to all IASP members and those who join our Global Year
Since collaboration and participation are essential to the success of
the Global Year campaign, this year's Global Year Against Visceral Pain
Task Force worked with the European Federation of IASP Chapters (EFIC)
to coordinate the themes of the IASP Global Year Against Pain and the
European Year Against Pain. Other exciting collaborations and ventures
will be announced as the year progresses.
I encourage you to get involved in activities and events that relate
to the Global Year. Whether you help to plan and organize an event,
deliver a talk related to visceral pain, or attend a meeting to show
your support, I thank you in advance for helping to increase
understanding of visceral pain around the globe. Please contact your
local IASP chapter, or the IASP secretariat office at
IASPdesk@iasp-pain.org, for more information. We look forward to your
active involvement in this important advocacy campaign.
I count on your help and involvement in promoting treatment for this
most common form of pain that is insufficiently recognized and poorly
treated. Get involved in your local institution to draw attention to
this unmet medical need. Millions of pain sufferers throughout the world
will benefit from our joint effort. They need our passion and our
Fernando Cervero, MD, PhD, DSc
Why Visceral Pain?
Visceral pain associated with ailments such as gallstones, acute
pancreatitis, acute appendicitis, and diverticulitis are the most common
reasons for visits to outpatient and inpatient gastrointestinal (GI)
clinics, but visceral pain may also include chronic chest pain, bladder
pain, gynecological pain, and pelvic pain. Up to 25% of the population
report visceral pain at any one time, leading to substantial health care
If you would like to volunteer to translate Global Year materials or
if you are organizing an event focused on visceral pain and would like
to include it on our website, please contact IASPdesk@iasp-pain.org.
Many thanks to the Global Year Against Visceral Pain Task Force
co-chairs, Qasim Aziz (UK) and Timothy Ness (USA).
IASP would also like to thank the rest of the Task Force for their
Fernando Cervero (Canada), Shin Fukudo (Japan), Fred Howard (USA),
Martin Koltzenburg (UK), Stephen McMahon (UK), Curtis Nickel (Canada),
Jay Pashrica (USA), and Ursula Wesselmann (USA)