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Olympic Games Gold Medalist Nikki Stone Joins Chronic Pain Experts in Educational Webcasts

American Society of Pain Educators launches first of three-part series

Montclair, N.J. (July 24, 2008) /PRNewswire/ – The American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE) announces the launch of an educational Webcast series on chronic pain with leading health specialists and Olympic Games gold medalist and chronic pain sufferer, Nikki Stone. The first in the three-part series, "Keep Moving! Persistent Chronic Pain Doesn't Have to Hold You Back" is available today at www.painawareness.org.

The first Webcast addresses the benefits of exercise for individuals with chronic pain and provides practical tips by leading chronic pain expert, Dr. Warren A. Katz, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Associate of the Rothman Institute. The importance of exercise for people with persistent chronic pain was underscored in the recent PRICARA® Chronic Pain Barometer online survey of 500 American chronic pain sufferers 18 years or older, which evaluated the impact of chronic pain on exercise, diet, relationships and intimacy. In addition, lack of exercise was identified as one of the top three problems affecting the lives of people with chronic pain, while over 40 percent reported that exercise helped manage their pain, in addition to other tools.

During the Webcast, participants receive tips on how to incorporate physical activity into a pain management program, such as:

  • Incorporating exercises such as stretching into your routine may help promote flexibility, which allows joints to move through their full range of motion, potentially making them less likely to ache
  • Low-impact exercises may also be appropriate because participants get the benefits of the aerobic activity with less stress on their joints. Low-impact exercises may include yoga, Pilates, biking, walking and swimming
  • A good goal to reach for is 30 minutes of aerobic activity four to five times per week

As always, patients should first speak with their healthcare professional before starting any type of exercise program.

"Chronic pain is a daily struggle for more than 50 million Americans. It can affect their relationships, daily activities and may limit their ability to enjoy life to the fullest," said B. Eliot Cole, MD, MPA, Executive Director, American Society of Pain Educators. "Through this educational Webcast series, we, along with PRICARA®, aim to provide individuals living with chronic pain valuable information about coping with pain and points to consider when discussing their pain management plan with their doctor."

Throughout the Webcast series, which is co-sponsored and co-developed by PRICARA®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the marketer of ULTRAM® ER (tramadol HCl) extended release tablets, Olympic Games gold medalist Nikki Stone shares her personal story with persistent chronic pain as it relates to each topic and encourages other chronic pain sufferers to not give up hope. In the first Webcast, Nikki reflects on the time when exercise was the last thing on her mind. At that point, she did not want to get out of bed, let alone exercise. But she knew she had to start somewhere, which included speaking with her doctor and starting an exercise routine slowly: light stretching one day, a walk the next.

The second and third Webcasts focus on the benefits of weight control in chronic pain management and the psychological effects of this condition. These Webcasts, "Is Your Persistent Chronic Pain Weighing You Down?" and "Making Sure Your Relationships Aren't Pained When You're in Chronic Pain" will be online for viewing in 2008 following the launch of the first Webcast. The PRICARA® Chronic Pain Barometer survey also showed that:

  • Nearly half of chronic pain sufferers (approximately 46 percent) agreed controlling their weight helped them to manage their chronic pain, and 86 percent of respondents stated that healthy changes to their diet helped to manage their chronic pain
  • Moreover, 75 percent of people 31-40 years old stated that their chronic pain has had a negative effect on their relationship with their spouse/partner

About Nikki Stone, Olympic Games Gold Medalist

Best known for being the first American to win a gold medal in inverted aerial skiing, Nikki Stone understands what it is like to be living with persistent chronic pain, after experiencing a back injury from a skiing accident. Months after the injury, Nikki's pain continued on a daily basis and made it difficult for her to perform once simple activities. Her doctor diagnosed her as having persistent chronic pain and worked with her to develop a pain management plan. The plan that worked for Nikki included a prescription medication, which helped manage her pain so that she could participate in physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in her back. With the combination of medication, physical therapy, doctor supervision and tireless motivation, Nikki was able to work her way back to competing and became the first American to win a gold medal in inverted aerial skiing. Today, Nikki hopes to motivate others suffering with chronic pain to speak with their doctors to find a program to manage their pain.


About the Webcast Series

Over the coming months, each Webcast will be featured on www.painawareness.org, commencing in July.

This Webcast is meant for educational purposes only, and every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented is accurate. Information presented in the Webcasts is not intended to replace the care prescribed by a healthcare professional.

The opinions expressed in the Webcasts are those of the speakers, presenters and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and may not necessarily reflect the positions of the ASPE, or the Webhost. The appearance of the ASPE name and logo in the Webcasts does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or information mentioned. The ASPE does not imply discrimination against other similar products or services.

Funding for ASPE and Webcast series was provided by PRICARA®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

All experts featured in the Webcasts and Nikki Stone are paid consultants for PRICARA®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

The PRICARA® Chronic Pain Barometer survey was conducted online from March 28-31, 2008, in partnership with HCD Research, Inc. on behalf of PRICARA®, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the marketer of ULTRAM® ER (tramadol HCl) extended release tablets, and involved 500 American adults, ages 18 and older, who self-identified as suffering from chronic pain.


About the American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE)

The ASPE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit professional organization dedicated to improving the standards of clinical pain practice. The goal of the ASPE is to promote optimal quality of life and physical functioning for pain sufferers by providing high-quality pain education training and continuing education programming for healthcare professionals.

The ASPE also provides educational opportunities for clinicians who wish to become Certified Pain Educators (CPEs). CPEs serve as specialized resources for pain management in their clinical settings, educating their professional colleagues—as well as patients, families and caregivers—on ways to relieve pain by the safest means possible. As the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requires pain management education in all of its accredited institutions, the ASPE's goal is to eventually have a CPE in every JCAHO-accredited facility.

About ULTRAM® ER (tramadol HCl)

ULTRAM® ER is used to manage moderate to moderately severe chronic pain in adults who need to be treated around the clock for their pain for an extended period of time. For more information, please visit www.ultram-er.com.


IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Do not take ULTRAM® ER if you have had an allergic reaction to tramadol, codeine, or other opioids in the past.

ULTRAM® ER tablets must be swallowed whole. Do not chew, crush or split the tablet before swallowing. This can lead to overdose and possible serious injury including death. Use of alcohol should be avoided when taking ULTRAM® ER.

The maximum daily dose of ULTRAM® ER is 300 mg. Do not change your dose or stop taking ULTRAM® ER without talking with your doctor first.

Talk with your doctor about all the medications you are taking. These may include antidepressants, tranquilizers, hypnotics or other opioid pain medicines. ULTRAM® ER may impair your ability to perform potentially hazardous tasks, such as driving a car or operating machinery.

Seizures have been reported in people taking tramadol, the medicine in ULTRAM® ER. The risk of seizures is increased with doses of tramadol above the recommended range. Use of tramadol increases the risk of seizures in people taking antidepressants, other opioids, or other drugs that can cause seizures. Risk of convulsions may also increase in people with epilepsy or a history of seizures.

ULTRAM® ER may be associated with a potentially life-threatening condition when taken together with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) (classes of drugs for depression or other disorders), triptans, lithium, or St. John's Wort. Some common SSRIs are Paxil® (paroxetine), Prozac®/Sarafem® (fluoxetine), and Zoloft® (sertraline). Some common SNRIs are Cymbalta® (duloxetine) and Effexor® (venlafaxine). Some common triptans are Axert® (almotriptan), Imitrex® (sumatriptan), and Relpax® (eletriptan).

If you experience symptoms such as restlessness, hallucinations, loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, rapid changes in blood pressure, increased body temperature, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, contact your doctor immediately.

ULTRAM® ER, like other opioids, can be abused or cause dependence. People who are suicidal or have a history of drug addiction should not take ULTRAM® ER. Do not take more than the recommended dose of ULTRAM® ER. Taking more than the recommended dose of ULTRAM® ER, alone or in combination with alcohol or medications such as tranquilizers, hypnotics or other opioids, can cause respiratory depression, seizures, overdose and possibly death.

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.

The most common side effects reported with ULTRAM® ER were dizziness, nausea, constipation, headache, and drowsiness.

Please see full Prescribing Information available at www.ultram-er.com

Paxil and Imitrex are registered trademarks of GlaxoSmithKline. Prozac and Cymbalta are registered trademarks of Eli Lilly. Sarafem is a registered trademark of Warner Chilcott. Zoloft and Relpax are registered trademarks of Pfizer, Inc. Effexor is a registered trademark of Wyeth. Axert is a registered trademark of Almirall Prodesfarma.

Press Contact:

Redza Ibrahim
American Society of Pain Educators
Tel (973) 679-4485
Fax (973) 556-1058
Sarah Bailey
Ruder Finn Public Relations
Tel (212) 715-1619
Fax (646) 792-4424