Joint pain and osteoarthritis: 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


Joint pain and osteoarthritis are common problems

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 Wahida & Naureen



Wahida is 65 and tries to stay active by 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.




Naureen 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.

Naureen is frustrated and is looking for a solution that does not involve yet another pill.


Understanding joint pain and osteoarthritis

Causes icon


Find out about the causes of joint pain and osteoarthritis.


Signs and symptoms icon

Signs and symptoms

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


Management icon


Learn how joint pain and osteoarthritis can be managed.


Learn more

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