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nib patients gain more than expected through weight loss

3 minute read

This National Pain Week (25-31 July) we are celebrating the results achieved by nib customers, Kim Hor and Annie Hawker, through their participation in the Healthy Weight for Life Program.

The old saying "prevention is better than cure" has definitely rung true for Annie (68 years) and Kim (57 years) who have both lost more than 13 kilograms through the the online-based specialised knee and hip osteoarthritis management program, helping to reduce the pain they were suffering due to chronic arthritis in most joints.

The 18-week program is provided free of charge to eligible nib customers and focuses on addressing weight management in a bid to improve joint pain experienced by participants and limit their need for joint replacement surgery. Annie and Kim joined the program when their pain levels reached a point where they were significantly impacting on their mobility and daily life.

"After only one or two weeks of the program I remember feeling less reluctant to get out of my chair. This newfound energy was definitely a result of reduced pain and it only got better as the weeks went on and the weight came off," said Annie.

"I can't speak highly enough of the program and the support it provided. I'm back at work now and managing daily tasks with ease. It's a big difference to how I was living my life last year," added Kim.

Since its launch in 2010, almost 6,500 people with knee or hip osteoarthritis have completed the program with the participants achieving an average weight loss of 7.5%, consistent across all starting body mass indexes.

nib's Group Manager Benefits and Provider Relations, Justin Vaughan, highlighted how the program demonstrates the significance of improving lifestyle factors associated with osteoarthritis as a preventative health measure.

"By making changes to their exercise and nutrition, patients have been able improve their overall health, leading to less pain experienced from their condition and a reduced likelihood for surgery. This outcome not only means patients avoid a joint replacement operation, it also extends to benefit other private health insurance customers by reducing the impact of avoidable surgical costs on their premiums," Mr Vaughan said.

"Through support of such preventative health programs, we are helping our customers access the ongoing support and resources they need to take ownership of their health before invasive medical intervention is required."

Healthy Weight for Life is 100% covered by nib, as a participating health fund, so there are no out of pocket costs for eligible patients. To find out more about eligibility criteria and to register your interest call 1800 226 180 or visit the Healthy Weight For Life website.

Learn more about National Pain Week.

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