Friday, August 14, 2009

Healing Pain Through the Art of Quilting

Patchwork of Hope Network (TM) Visits Atlanta to Raise Awareness of After-Shingles Pain

A local quilting group has joined a national initiative to help raise awareness of after-shingles pain, or postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a particularly painful and debilitating disease. The group will be hosting an educational seminar in the area and invite members of the community to share their stories and reveal their quilting skills. Attendees will help by contributing to a patchwork quilt that is a handmade memorial and testimonial to those who suffer, and a reminder that they are a member of a community and do not have to face after-shingles pain alone.

Approximately 1 million Americans will suffer from shingles each year, and one in five of those people may develop PHN. PHN results from nerve damage caused by the shingles virus. For some PHN patients, a gentle breeze or a slight change in temperature can cause excruciating pain.

Together the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the National Pain Foundation (NPF) are spreading the word about PHN through the Patchwork of Hope Network (P.H.N.) program. This often debilitating condition can affect not only those suffering, but their family and friends as well.

The campaign includes several live events throughout the year where attendees will hear presentations about PHN symptoms and potential treatment options, meet others affected by PHN and have an opportunity to create individual quilt squares to tell their story about how PHN has affected their lives.

Local physician Anthony Grasso, M.D., a pain management specialist at Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, P.C. and affiliated with Wellstar Health System, will discuss shingles and after-shingles pain and ways to cope. Additionally, a local PHN patient will share her personal experience with PHN and John Sebby, of the NPF, will discuss resources for dealing with PHN.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 19
10 a.m. to 12 noon

WHERE: Lou Walker Senior Center
2538 Panola Road
Lithonia, GA 30058
(770) 322-2900

About National Pain Foundation

The National Pain Foundation (NPF), a non-profit organization, is the premier provider of information, education and support to people with chronic pain. Materials are provided for both patients and medical professionals interested in the field of chronic pain. The NPF aims to empower people in pain by educating them about their condition, providing information about the options available for managing their pain, teaching them to take a more active role in their treatment plan and helping them to connect with others who also are on this journey. For more information, visit

About National Council on Aging

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a non-profit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for older Americans - especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged - and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together non-profit organizations, businesses and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits improve their health, live independently and remain active in their communities. For more information, visit

Harpaz R, Ortega-Sanchez IR and Seward JF. Prevention of Herpes Zoster: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2008; 57(05): 1-30. Available at: Accessed February 20, 2009.

Shingles Vaccine: What You Need to Know. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control. Available at: Accessed February 15, 2009.

Cure PHN: Your Questions Answered. VZV Research Foundation, Inc. 2004: 1-6. Available at: Accessed February 9, 2009.

Galer BS. Advances in the Treatment of Postherpetic Neuralgia: The Topical Lidocaine Patch. Today’s Therapeutic Trends. 2000; 1-20.
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