NeP kNOw More: Putting Neuropathic Pain on the Podium

    Five-Time Olympian Charmaine Crooks Begins Cross-Canada Public Forums on
    Common Form of Chronic Neuropathic Pain

    TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - Five-time Olympian Charmaine Crooks understands
the importance of staying in peak physical condition and maintaining a healthy
body. As an Olympic silver medalist and current Chair of Olympians Canada,
Crooks knows the impact that pain - chronic and acute - can have on a person's
quality of life. Today, Crooks begins a cross-country tour to raise awareness
about neuropathic pain, a common form of chronic pain.
    The goal of the cross-Canada public forum series is to raise awareness of
neuropathic pain and to change attitudes and opinions on the causes, diagnosis
and treatment of neuropathic pain. The forums will also highlight research and
treatment advances in order to provide hope to those living with neuropathic
pain. Charmaine Crooks will host five public forums in the Canadian cities of
Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. The location for the sixth public
forum will be confirmed at a later date.
    "I am proud to be part of this national initiative to help raise
awareness among Canadians about this common and debilitating form of chronic
pain. Awareness is the first step towards understanding and ultimately
effectively treating neuropathic pain," said Crooks.
    As an athlete who has suffered injuries during her professional career,
Charmaine is familiar with pain. However it is her family experience that has
given her an excellent understanding of the issues faced by those who suffer
neuropathic and other forms of chronic pain.
    Leading Canadian pain expert and director of the Comprehensive Pain
Program at Toronto Western Hospital, Dr. Angela Mailis-Gagnon understands the
significance of educating Canadians about neuropathic pain, its causes and
treatments. "These public forums will help Canadians understand neuropathic
pain, a common type of chronic pain, and will motivate them to become
advocates for their own disease management."
    Bruce Ashley has been living with neuropathic pain for over 6 years. Two
accidents, 11 months apart left him with a lower back injury, severe sciatica,
neck pain, a sleep disorder and severe headaches. "After my accident, I was
not able to drive or take part in my normal, daily activities, business,
social and family obligations - eventually I was forced to sell my once
thriving company or face losing it. While I still live with debilitating pain
every day of my life, the director of the Comprehensive Pain Program at
Toronto Western Hospital, Dr. Angela Mailis-Gagnon and her team of specialists
are helping me reclaim my lost life. I want people who are living with
neuropathic pain to know that they can learn to live with their disabilities
and manage their lives just like I am doing. I am now trying to return to the
most important aspects of my daily life, my wife and two children."
    Neuropathic pain, sometimes called "nerve pain", is a disease caused by
injury or dysfunction of the nerves, spinal cord or brain. It is estimated
that more than 2.2 million Canadians suffer from neuropathic pain, often in
combination with other types of pain such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and
migraine headaches.
    Because every nerve has a highly specialized function in a specific part
of the body, many different symptoms can occur when nerves are damaged. Some
people may experience numbness, tingling or pricking sensations, while others
may suffer more extreme symptoms including burning pain. The most common areas
affected by neuropathic pain are the back, arms, feet and legs.

    The NeP kNOw More: Putting Neuropathic Pain on the Podium public forum
series is made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer
Canada Inc.

    About Pfizer Canada Inc.
    Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc, the world's
leading pharmaceutical company. Pfizer discovers, develops, manufactures and
markets leading prescription medicines for both humans and animals. Canadian
headquarters of Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals Group is in Kirkland, Quebec.

    For more information on Neuropathic Pain Know More: Putting Chronic Pain
on the Podium, please visit:

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Nebesky, Thornley Fallis
Communications, (416) 515-7517 ext. 240

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