This year, the youngest members of the largest generation of Americans born in U.S. history will turn 50, prompting medical device innovator, ZetrOZ Inc. to ask Boomers about aging and pain management. The company, creators of a portable, wearable ultrasound device designed exclusively to treat musculoskeletal and joint pain, queried a sample of 500 people aged 50+ on staying fit and treating pain.
Pain and Manageability
According to the survey, 67% of this cohort lives with aches and pain, and nearly a quarter say their pain is chronic. Respondents cite aging, followed by arthritis and injuries, as the primary cause.
Over three-quarters of those surveyed do not have pain management under control with 53% considering their pain only “somewhat” manageable, followed by 25% who consider their pain unmanageable. This group is relying mostly on OTC pain medication (78%) followed by prescribed meds (30%). Regardless of what medication they take, fully 62% consider their current treatment only “somewhat effective.”
A third of those over 50 consider themselves “more active than at any other time in their lives,” despite living with pain. More than 50% of all respondents refuse to sacrifice fitness, claiming to consistently “play through” their aches and pains. Eighty percent say they are active at everything from walking and running to cycling and working out with weights.
“Many boomers take aging as an invitation to be even more physically active,” according to Ralph Ortiz, DO, MpH, founder of Medical Pain Consultants and a clinical study investigator for ZetrOZ, “And living with ‘somewhat effective’ pain management isn’t going to cut it. As this group continues to stay busy and fit, the search for successful solutions to pain will remain a ‘holy grail.'”
Battle of the Sexes?
When it comes to the cause of their aches and pains, women cite age less than their male counterparts (59% to 69% respectively). Additionally, nearly a quarter of women queried say they are not physically active compared to just 15% of men.
What the Future Holds
Nearly 60% of those asked had heard of wearable technology, and 72% stated interest in drug-free, non-invasive “wearable technology” for pain relief when told about a self-administering device for pain, available via prescription. Although ultrasound has been used to treat pain, primarily in elite athletes for decades, most respondents (63%) were unfamiliar with therapeutic ultrasound, and just 10% had experienced 10-15-minute treatments for pain.
According to ZetrOZ co-founder and product developer, George K. Lewis, Jr., its device has been designed to be worn continually for up to four hours at a time, which can deliver transformative pain management.