Joint pain: Overview

Woman clutching knee

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

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Joint pain is a common problem

Joint pain can be disabling

Pain

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 In the UK:9

  • Nearly three quarters of people with osteoarthritis report some form of constant pain
  • One third of people with osteoarthritis retire early or reduce the hours they work because of the condition
  • Around 20% of people with osteoarthritis experience symptoms of depression or anxiety
  • The cost of working days lost to the most common forms of arthritis was estimated at £2.58bn in 2017 and is expected to be £3.43bn by 2030

According to the WHO, by 2050, 40 million people will be severely disabled by osteoarthritis.10

Meet Nora and Wendy

Nora

Nora

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.

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Wendy

Wendy

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.

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Understanding joint pain and osteoarthritis

Causes icon

Causes

Find out about the causes of joint pain and osteoarthritis.

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Signs and symptoms icon

Signs and symptoms

Explore an overview of how to recognise joint pain and osteoarthritis and know when to refer patients.

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Management

Learn how joint pain and osteoarthritis can be managed.

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Voltarol 12 Hour Joint Pain Relief 2.32% Gel

Voltarol 12 Hour Joint Pain Relief 2.32% Gel Diclofenac Diethylammonium for joint pain

All day joint pain relief

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Voltarol Osteoarthritis Joint Pain Relief 1.16% Gel

Voltarol Osteoarthritis Joint Pain Relief 1.16% Gel Diclofenac Diethylammonium

Proven to be as effective as ibuprofen tablets for localised joint pain.14

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VoltaTec device and app

Helping pharmacy teams manage joint pain effectively

Access editorially independent articles and learning materials created by The Royal Pharmaceutical Society supported by a partnership with GSK.

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