Toughing it out: Survey reveals Canadians with osteoarthritis pain ‘kneed to move’
But medication concerns, lifestyle and other challenges keeps them
TORONTO, Sept. 18, 2013 /CNW/ – Canadians with osteoarthritis (OA)
“kneed to move,” but too often related knee pain holds them back. A
new survey reveals that even though this pain impacts quality of life -
both physically and emotionally – too few are taking steps to address
The nation-wide survey of Canadians over age 50 with OA(i) revealed that OA knee pain has a significant effect on the quality of
life of 71 per cent of respondents.(i) In fact, four out of five report that their pain can restrict them from everyday
activities – such as working, sleep and household chores.(i )
And while fall is a beautiful season to enjoy the outdoors, 72 per cent
identify exercise, sports and recreational activities as the top
activities their pain keeps them from enjoying.(i) And sixty-three per cent report frustration with the limitations imposed on
their lives.(i )
“Chronic pain can be isolating,” says Lynn Cooper, president, Canadian
Pain Coalition. “While many want to be outside, participating in both
every day and autumn activities, such as visiting a fall fair or going
apple picking with family and friends, they instead find themselves
inside and alone, which can cause a downward emotional spiral and
general physical deconditioning if left unmanaged.”
Osteoarthritis and a “kneed to move”
Affecting more than three million Canadians,(ii) OA is a progressive joint disease that occurs when damaged joint
tissues are unable to normally repair themselves resulting in a
breakdown of cartilage and bone.(iii) The most commonly affected joints are the hands and weight-bearing
joints, including the knees, hips, feet and spine.(iv)
Almost half of respondents (48 per cent) report daily knee pain, with
three out of four respondents experiencing pain at least weekly.(i )And among those who experience daily OA knee pain, nearly half classify
their pain as the “worst pain imaginable”.(i)
Pain “kneeds” unaddressed by sufferers
However, many sufferers are still not communicating with their doctors
about their pain until it is almost unbearable. Specifically,
respondents who spoke with a doctor about their pain were most likely
to say it was because the pain became more bothersome (57 per cent)
and/or because their condition worsened (41 per cent).(i )
Patients “kneed” to follow medical advice
Despite the impact of OA knee pain, many are not taking their pain
medications as prescribed. More than half of respondents (54 per cent)
report not taking their medication exactly as directed;(i) and among them 30 per cent report taking their pain medication only when
their pain becomes too much to handle.(i)
Many OA knee pain sufferers are worried about medication safety and
addiction. In fact, 73 per cent of survey respondents reported they
are concerned about possible side effects of prescription pain
medications, and 54 per cent are concerned about the risk of addiction.(i )
“It is extremely important for patients to follow their management plan
but also share any concerns around pain medications with their doctor,”
says Dr. Philip Baer, rheumatologist.
“We can explain OA, treatment risk and benefits, recommend lifestyle
changes, and share information about new, safe and effective pain
medications – so they can reconnect with their lives and the activities
“Kneed” to learn more?
Sufferers are making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and
modifying diet, to help reduce stress on their knees, but there is room
for improvement. Only 26 per cent of respondents are currently making such adjustments to address their condition following a doctor’s
“Too many Canadians are living with OA knee pain daily but they are not
alone. There are many opportunities for those with OA to learn more and
do more. The Arthritis Society and the Canadian Pain Coalition offer
education and information; and some pharmaceutical companies offer
ongoing support programs to help those in pain manage their treatments
and re-engage with their lives,” says Joanne Simons, chief mission
officer, The Arthritis Society.
About the ‘Kneed to Move’ survey
The objective of the “Kneed to Move” study was to better understand the
impact and management of pain due to OA of the knee. Specifically, it
looks at how Canadians are currently treating it, as well as how it
affects their quality of life.
Interviews were conducted online, in both French and English, among 251
Canadians aged 50 and over with OA of the knee, a representative sample
of those currently with the condition.
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing
portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products
by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and
from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Lilly provides answers -
through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent
medical needs. Eli Lilly Canada, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario,
employs close to 500 people across the country. Additional information
about Eli Lilly Canada can be found at www.lilly.ca.
(i) About the poll: The poll, commissioned by Eli Lilly Canada Inc., was
conducted online by Harris/Decima between April 25 and May 1, 2013.
Results are based on a sample of 251 Canadian adults who are age 50 or
older who have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.
(ii) Osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Society. Retrieved from: http://www.arthritis.ca/page.aspx?pid=941 Accessed June 4, 2013.
(iii) Arthritis Alliance of Canada. The Impact of Arthritis in Canada: Today
and Over the Next 30 Years. Fall 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.arthritisalliance.ca/docs/20111022_2200_executive_summary.pdf Accessed May 16, 2013.
(iv )Living Well with Osteoarthritis, Knowing your Treatment Options.
Retrieved from: http://www.parl.ns.ca/rooms/healthroom/pdf/osteoarthritis.pdf. Accessed on June 6, 2013.
SOURCE Eli Lilly Canada Inc.