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    BUPA Launches Breakthrough Treatment For Back And Knee Pain (July 2009)

    BUPA Launches Breakthrough Treatment For Back And Knee Pain

    Article published in www.medicalnewstoday.com, 09 July 2009

    New research reveals around 22 million people suffered back pain in the last year - just under half of all UK adults (45 percent)[1]. More than one in four UK adults - nearly 13 million people - suffered from knee pain in the last year. Over 80 percent of the people with back or knee pain still suffer some pain after undergoing treatment recommended by a healthcare professional. Bupa is making APOS Treatment for knee and lower back pain available in the UK for the first time. The breakthrough treatment can eliminate the need for prescription pain relief for seven out of 10 people[2].

    The APOS Treatment (which stands for All Phases of Step Cycle) has two key elements: The APOS WalkrightTM, high-tech footwear which is individually adjusted to address patients' specific pain needs, and a six-month programme of care that provides ongoing clinical and computerised assessment of the patient's walking pattern and readjustments as needs change.

    The APOS Treatment combines two simple principles: realigning the body as it walks and introducing a mild instability, encouraging retraining of the joints. The APOS Treatment can reduce the intensity of knee pain by an average of 66 percent after just eight weeks[3] and has a high success rate - 86 percent of people who have experienced the APOS Treatment would recommend it to a friend or relative[4].

    The launch could be a major breakthrough for around 22 million back and 13 million knee pain sufferers in the UK, more than 60 percent of whom have suffered pain for more than a year (64 percent back, 61 percent knee).[5]

    Leading physician Dr Richard Budgett, said: "APOS combines two widely-recognised and applied medical principles into one unique new treatment. The concept is simple and could provide an effective new way to treat joint pain. It could become the foundation of non-surgical care for this type of pain."

    The new research also reveals that amongst the UK's lower back and knee pain sufferers:

    - around a half of sufferers feel that treatment options are limited (54 percent back, 47 percent knee)
    - whether or not a treatment is non-surgical is an important factor in treatment selection for around eight in ten of those who have used/received some kind of treatment (82 percent back, 77 percent knee)
    - in the last year, around half of those who have taken any time off work due to their pain have taken a week or more off (49 percent back, 51 percent knee).

    The APOS Treatment was first invented in Israel in 2005 at the acclaimed Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre. Since then, 12,000 people have undergone the APOS Treatment.

    Patients interested in the APOS Treatment will undergo a free hour-and-a-half assessment at a Bupa centre to see whether it is suitable for them. This includes an in-depth consultation with a clinician and a computerised gait analysis. If the APOS Treatment is appropriate, patients will receive a six-month programme of care, including a series of follow-up assessments with a clinician, where the Walkrights are adjusted to meet their changing pain needs, as well as on-call telephone support from the Bupa team. APOS Treatment is covered by Bupa health insurance.

    The cost of APOS Treatment is £2,925 when paid up front or £3,250 when spread over six-months: an initial payment of £1,750 followed by five monthly payments of £300.

    Dr Peter Mace, Bupa's assistant medical director said: "Existing treatments for knee and back pain may need long-term medication, surgical intervention with the risk of complications and exercise regimes which may patients may find difficult to sustain. Research shows that often these treatments are not effective at relieving chronic pain. APOS Treatment takes a different approach and can provide a long-term, sustainable solution, with less need for long term medication and surgery. The added benefit for the patient is that this treatment is easy to fit into everyday life."

    Dr Amit Mor, chairman and co-founder of APOS, said: "People are best placed to treat their joint problems if they have good alignment and feel less pain, features which APOS provides."


    [1] Source: Research Now - online survey of a representative sample of 4,008 UK adults (aged 16 +) between 4th and 11th June 2009.

    [2] Source: Communications Centre of the Brandman Institute in Tel Aviv. Telephone interviews conducted in March, 2008 among 200 people, aged 35 +,using the APOS Treatment. Seventy percent of those taking prescription pain relief before their APOS Treatment reported no longer needing pain relief afterwards. Eighty percent of the sample were being treated with APOS for knee pain, and 20 percent for back pain.

    [3] Source for this emerging evidence is: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center. Zerifin, Israel. A medical study of 57 people with knee osteoarthritis was carried out in Israel between September 2005 and February 2006. The study has been registered with http://www.clinicaltrials.gov http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/record/NCT00457132

    [4]Source: As footnote 2 - above

    [5] Source: As footnote 1 above