Osteoarthritis pain impacts Canadians both physically and emotionally

    - Survey reveals boomers with osteoarthritis experience the blues,
                    but are determined to stay positive -

    TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - Getting older is an inevitable fact of life, but
a recent survey reveals that Canadian boomers are feeling more than just the
physical aches and pains associated with age - they're also experiencing the
emotional effects.
    Today's boomers strive to be active and enjoy life, but in spite of these
efforts many will experience pain due to osteoarthritis, the most common kind
of arthritis.(i) A prevalent disease, 80 per cent of everyone over the age of
55 has x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis(ii); however, many people begin
experiencing the symptoms by the younger age of 45.
    According to the TYLENOL(R) Canadian Pain Survey(1) conducted by Angus
Reid Strategies, 67 per cent of Canadians 45+ who suffer from osteoarthritis
say that having osteoarthritis makes them feel older and more than half (54
per cent) say they have felt down or depressed when osteoarthritis prevents
them from participating in their favourite pastimes and activities;(iii)
however, the majority maintain a positive outlook about remaining active (88
per cent) and don't let it dominate what they can and cannot do.
    "We know that osteoarthritis causes aches and pains, but we tend to
forget that these physical effects can set-off a number of emotional effects
as well," says Dr. Carter Thorne, Consultant Staff, Southlake Regional Health
Centre, Director, The Arthritis Program, Newmarket, Ontario.
    "You're only as old as you feel, but this survey is showing that many
Canadians are feeling older because of osteoarthritis. This disease can be
managed, which may help them continue to feel younger than their actual age."
    Astonishingly, 90 per cent of respondents experience some physical
limitations related to everyday activities as a result of their
osteoarthritis, including physical limitation with physical exercise (61 per
cent), household cleaning (34 per cent), and working (28 per cent).(iv) Among
those who experienced limitations with these activities, more than half
reduced participation or completely stopped the activity.(v)
    "All too often, I see patients with osteoarthritis who feel down because
they aren't able to participate in the activities in the same way they once
could. When it becomes difficult to do things like prepare meals, take
leisurely walks or even work, it can really affect someone emotionally,"
continues Dr. Thorne. "But all is not lost! There are effective ways to manage
the pain, which may help these individuals return to their normal level of


    Arthritis is one of the most common diseases in Canada consisting of more
than 100 different conditions and affecting one-in-six Canadians. It is a
major cause of disability and health care in Canada.(vi)
    The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects three
million Canadians.(vii) It is characterized by a loss of articular cartilage
in the synovial joints (the most movable joints in the human body, like the
knee) and although this disease can involve any joint, it most commonly
affects hands and weight-bearing joints, such as knees, hips, and back.(viii)


    The goals of osteoarthritis management are seven-fold: to relieve pain,
control inflammation, maintain/improve function, prevent/correct deformity,
provide psychosocial support, provide patient education and encourage
self-management techniques.
    The TYLENOL(R) Canadian Pain Survey reveals that in the past month,
nine-in-ten Canadians 45+ with osteoarthritis engaged in some form of
treatment to minimize the discomfort associated with their chronic
condition.(ix) The majority of sufferers (61 per cent) turned to
over-the-counter pain relievers, like TYLENOL, for its safety and efficacy,
while others (45 per cent) used exercise, followed closely by 30 per cent
using hot and cold therapy.
    "Taking action to manage pain is an important step in remaining active
and feeling good," says Dr. Thorne. "The good news for Canadians with
osteoarthritis is that there are lots of options to get back to living life
and ultimately aging well."

    Dr. Thorne offers the following options to help manage the pain associated
with osteoarthritis:

    -   Exercise - Regular, slow and steady, exercise helps lessen the
        symptoms of osteoarthritis as it ensures that the muscles and other
        tissues holding joints together do not weaken. Incorporating range-
        of-motion exercises, moderate stretching and low-impact exercises,
        such as swimming, walking, water aerobics and stationary bicycling,
        can reduce pain while maintaining strength and flexibility.

    -   Protect the joints - Avoiding excess stress on joints affected by
        arthritis will help lessen pain when performing everyday tasks. To
        reduce the risk of osteoarthritis in the knees, it is recommended to
        maintain a healthy body weight as this will reduce stress on the

    -   Consider over-the-counter options - To help relieve mild to moderate
        osteoarthritis pain and reduce stiffness, healthcare professionals
        often suggest taking over-the-counter medications, such as
        acetaminophen.( x ) This medicine is found in TYLENOL(R)
        Arthritis Pain and provides safe, effective and long lasting pain
        relief when taken as directed.

    -   Utilize hot and cold therapy - Because heat promotes blood
        circulation, it can be applied to arthritic joints to help reduce
        pain and stiffness. If the joint is inflamed, cold should be applied
        instead to minimize pain and swelling by constricting blood flow.(xi)

    For more information about osteoarthritis management, visit


    McNeil Consumer Healthcare markets a broad range of well-known and
trusted over-the-counter (OTC) products around the globe. McNeil Consumer
Healthcare, Division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., markets products in the adult
and pediatric pain relief, allergy, gastro-intestinal and nicotine-replacement
categories under the brand names TYLENOL(R), MOTRIN(R), BENYLIN(R),

    1.  TYLENOL(R) Canadian Pain Survey was conducted from March 25 to 31 by
        Angus Reid Strategies through an online survey among a randomly
        selected, representative sample of 1,020 adult Canadians aged 45+
        suffering from osteoarthritis. The margin of error for the total
        sample is +/- 2.2 %, 19 times out of 20.

    (i)    Arthritis Society. About Osteoarthritis.          
Last accessed April 17, 2009.
    (ii)   Brandt, K. Diagnosis and Nonsurgical Management of Osteoarthritis,
           4th Edition. Pg. 23.
    (iii)  TYLENOL Canadian Pain Survey. Aging & Arthritis phase.
    (iv)   TYLENOL Canadian Pain Survey. Aging & Arthritis phase.
    (v)    TYLENOL Canadian Pain Survey. Aging & Arthritis phase.
    (vi)   Arthritis in Canada report. Public Health Agency of Canada.
           http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ac/ac_3e-eng.php. Last
           accessed April 28, 2009.
    (vii)  The Arthritis Society of Canada website: www.arthritis.ca.
Last accessed on April 20, 2009.
    (viii) Hochberg M. J Rheumatol. 1991;18:1438-1440.
    (ix)   TYLENOL Canadian Pain Survey. Aging & Arthritis phase.
    ( x )    The Arthritis Society of Canada website: www.arthritis.ca.
Last accessed on May 26, 2009.
    (xi)   The Arthritis Society of Canada website: www.arthritis.ca.
Last accessed on May 26, 2009.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Laura Espinoza, Anya Kravets,
Edelman, (416) 979-1120 ex 245, 323, Laura.Espinoza@edelman.com,

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