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Joint Pain Matters report: everything you need to know

Our Joint Pain Matters 2021 report examines the findings of a survey of 8,545 people battling joint pain, offering invaluable insight into the devastating, widespread physical and psychological impact of joint pain — on individuals, families, relationships and more. 

Joint pain wreaks havoc on the lives of over 10 million people across the UK. 

This report is the UK’s largest independent report of its kind, inviting a critical conversation about what life is really like with joint pain. 

  • 68.88% of respondents to our survey reported that joint pain has impacted their mental health. 
  • 39.29% of respondents reported that joint pain affects their sleep every night. 
  • 40% of our survey respondents feel that joint pain affects the people around them.

We examine the impact of joint pain on mental wellbeing 

Themes of depression, anxiety and isolation weave throughout survey responses, emphasising the distressing impact of joint pain on mental wellbeing. Some sufferers feel entirely dependent on family members to care for them. They are often unable to socialise with friends, stay active, or fulfil everyday activities. Life can feel like an uphill battle, with little relief. 

“Family members miss the person I used to be. I don’t go to events anymore. I’ve stopped being invited to places.” Anonymous respondent.

Many respondents also fight a vicious cycle of chronic pain and little to no sleep each night. This cycle is often described as painsomnia, a term coined by members of the rheumatoid arthritis community to express the destructive and frustrating nature of chronic pain.

“I can’t sleep. I wake up constantly throughout the night in pain, which makes me unproductive during the day.” Anonymous respondent

Some respondents explain that joint pain has gravely affected their romantic relationships, creating self-confidence issues and driving a wedge between them and their partners. 

“I can’t go out and meet new people. I don’t feel fun or sexy to be around.” Anonymous respondent 

We examine multiple joint pain conditions

In our report, “joint pain” is an umbrella term used to describe pain induced by a broad scope of conditions. These include: rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and bursitis. 65.18% of respondents have been diagnosed with one form of arthritis or another.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting more than 8 million people. This represents 13.8% of the UK population. 37.12% of respondents battle this condition. 

In the UK, rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 people. 8.66% of survey respondents have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. 

No matter which condition reported, most respondents deal with intense pain induced by joint inflammation, swelling, or tenderness. 

We examine the connection between arthritis and fibromyalgia

According to the Arthritis Foundation, people with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. The foundation reports: “People with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases are more likely to develop fibromyalgia. Symptoms usually appear between ages 30 and 55.” 

We delve deeper into the poorly understood connection between arthritis and fibromyalgia, while covering common fibroymalagia symptoms and potential treatment options. 

We examine and share expert insight

Our report features in-depth commentary across a range of Circle Health Group orthopaedic surgeons and joint pain specialists, as well as insight from renowned joint pain organisation leaders and medical professionals.

These experts have studied our survey findings and added their own expert analysis to the mix, including conversations around the most effective joint pain treatments, complementary therapies and the benefits of making crucial lifestyle changes. 

We examine even more

Joint Pain Matters 2021 not only explores the above topics in detail. It also covers areas such as: 

  • Why men suffer in silence: Our survey sparks a vital conversation around the male health crisis in the UK and its relevance to our statistical analysis of respondents.
  • Care pathways: We examine which treatments people have had for joint pain and what they thought of the result.
  • Lifestyle changes: We evaluate whether changes to diet, exercise and the way you live your life affect joint pain.
  • Complementary therapies: Does yoga, acupuncture or CBD oil help? We discuss what respondents think.
  • Pandemic response: We explain how the COVID-19 pandemic created a ticking timebomb of musculoskeletal suffering. 
  • Patient voices: If you're suffering from joint pain, then you’re not alone. Read our informative patient stories and moving quotes from other sufferers. 

All information included in our report is statistic-led analysis based on the brave responses of 8545 people living with joint pain.

Are you suffering from joint pain? Don’t live in pain. Call 0808 101 0337 or find a consultant that's right for you to get fast access to specialist hospital treatment and aftercare.