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Archive for October, 2018

Courtesy of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparties –

Pain is among the top reasons that people go to a doctor.1 It affects quality of life and can lead to depression, anxiety, and poor sleep. Medications are often the first-line treatment for pain, but they can also cause serious side effects. Alternative treatments exist but are not available to all populations, especially rural and socioeconomically disadvantaged people.

“It’s a significant challenge for rural patients to have access to health care,” says George K. Lewis, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of ZetrOZ Systems, LLC. Instead of engaging in physical therapy multiple days a week, rural patients with joint pain may find it easier to take narcotics or receive injections every few months. Since 2013, NIMHD has funded studies led by Dr. Lewis to explore other options for pain management. Dr. Lewis’s research has focused on developing and testing wearable ultrasound devices for osteoarthritic pain, particularly in disadvantaged rural populations in upstate New York. They can also opt for in home physical therapists to assist with the application of this treatment.

Close-up view of SAM® device placed on right outer knee, two fingers pointingVeteran patient in North Carolina using SAM® on knee

Osteoarthritis is a very common disease in which the cushioning around the joints wears down. It affects more than 30 million Americans, causing them chronic pain and making it hard for them to be active. People with this disease may manage their symptoms through weight loss, physical therapy, and medications to reduce pain and swelling.

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