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Joint Pain Matters 2021: Which joints are affected by joint pain?

Joint pain affects millions of people in the UK.

Some people experience joint pain mildly, while for others, joint pain can be debilitating and impact many aspects of everyday life.

Our Joint Pain Matters 2021 report explores the stories of just some of the people living with chronic joint pain in the UK and further afield. 

8,545 people aged 16-75+ took part in our survery, making it one of the largest UK studies of its kind. 

We found that for many people, joint pain across multiple joints affects their social lives, family lives, mental health and romantic relationships. Through speaking with our network of Consultant orthoapedic surgeons, we also found that effective treatment options are available and people can find ways to manage their pain the right way.

Joint pain conditions can be diagnosed through a physical examination, imaging testing, nerve testing or even blood and tissue testing.

If you suffer from joint pain, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Most respondents to our survey didn’t put up with joint pain for long, with 40.08% respondents waiting for less than a year before seeking professional help for joint pain. And, overall, 60.79% waited less than two years before seeking medical help.

However, a fifth of respondents (22.46%) waited for five years or more before seeking professional help for joint pain, with 8.33% putting off professional healthcare advice for 10 years or more before visiting a healthcare professional.

Putting off treatment for joint pain can lead to reduced mobility and intensified chronic pain. 

Joint pain can affect many different joints. We asked survey respondents about their experiences of:

Our analysis found that respondents suffered most from knee pain.

As you age, knee pain may become more severe.

It is caused by a number of conditions, such as arthritis or tendonitis, but it can also occur simply as a result of muscle strain.

Our analysis found that most Joint Pain Matters 2021 respondents respondents suffered most from knee pain (76.95) of respondents.

What are the causes of knee pain?

As you age, knee pain may become more severe. It can be caused my a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and rhumeatoid arhritis.

Other knee pain causes include:

  • Wear and tear caused by everyday overuse;
  • Traumatic injury;
  • A dislocated knee cap;
  • Sprained or strained ligaments, and
  • Tendonitis.

Many Orthopaedic Consultants are specially trained in the treatment and pain management of knee pain, helping carrying out a broad range of surgeries to treat joint pain.

It is apparent from our Joint Pain Matters 2021 statistical analysis that joint pain can have a devastating impact on daily life, with 52.70% saying it significantly impacts their quality of life.

47.96% of people say it holds them back from doing everyday activities, 50% say it has impacted their ability to participate in hobbies.

81% say it makes them feel frustrated, 67% depressed and 61% stressed.

While knee pain can have a dramatic impact on daily life, there are treatment options available that people can try to manage their pain.

Treatment for knee pain


Common conditions:

Common treatment options