Joint pain and osteoarthritis: Overview
Pain in the joints
Joint pain is a very common complaint that can have a variety of different aetiologies.1–3
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent reason for chronic joint pain, and its prevalence is continuing to increase year on year.3,4 This condition involves progressive loss of cartilage, changes to the structure and function in the joint, and damage to ligaments and bone.5
Appropriate management of joint pain can help control symptoms and reduce disability.6,7
Joint pain and osteoarthritis are common problems
In a global online survey of over 24,000 people across 24 countries, 87% reported that they had experienced joint pain.1*
*These data were derived from the Global Pain Index, a survey which asked people to self-define the pain they had experienced at any point in time.1
Up to 20% of the population worldwide has osteoarthritis.3
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that, by 2050, 130 million people worldwide will suffer from osteoarthritis.8
Joint pain becomes more common with increasing age.4,9,10 Globally, the highest prevalence of joint pain and osteoarthritis is observed among those aged 55 years old and above.11
Joint pain and osteoarthritis can be disabling
Joint pain impairs mobility and reduces quality of life12
Pain, inflammation or stiffness in the joints may affect people’s ability to move freely and perform simple daily tasks, and can reduce self-esteem and limit ambitions.1,13
- 77% of people with joint pain report that their pain impacts their day-to-day lives1
- Osteoarthritic pain is a major cause of workplace absence,14 causing more than 16 missed days of work per year1
- 66% of people with arthritis pain say that their pain impacts their self-esteem1
- Osteoarthritis negatively affects sufferers’ quality of life, and can result in depression, anxiety and isolation13,15–17
- 55% of osteoarthritic pain sufferers state that their pain can stop them from pursuing their dreams and ambitions1
According to the WHO, by 2050, 40 million people will be severely disabled by the osteoarthritis.8
Meet Nora and Wendy
Nora is 55 and tries to stay active by gardening and going for walks.
She wakes with joint pain and stiffness each morning, so activity can sometimes be a struggle, but does not want her pain to control her life or her choices.
She wants sustained relief from her pain so she can do the things she enjoys, like walking and spending time with her grandchildren. However, she is concerned about treatment side effects.
Wendy is a 50-year-old who has experienced intermittent knee pain for 5 years. The pain disrupts her sleep and limits her previously active lifestyle and social life making her feel anxious and depressed.
She wants effective relief from her pain so she can return to the activities she used to enjoy, like going to yoga classes with her friends and taking long walks with her dog.
Her doctor recommended weight loss and exercise as a remedy. But chronic pain creates a lack of motivation and she feels her pain prevents her from exercising.
Wendy is frustrated and is looking for a solution that does not involve yet another pill.