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Osteoarthritis and You: Survey Results

2nd October 2019

We understand how important it is to keep on doing the things you enjoy despite your condition, something which can become increasingly difficult if symptoms are not managed properly. We conducted a survey to hear about your experiences with osteoarthritis so we can provide you with the information you need to understand how the condition affects you and how treatments are helping to manage your symptoms.

If you would like to share your experiences with us, please feel free to contribute here.

The knee was the most common body part affected by osteoarthritis with 76% of participants suffering from the condition, followed by the hands (36%) and the hips (27%).

Causes of Osteoarthritis

Although osteoarthritis can be caused by multiple factors, a person’s family history was the most prevalent response with more than a quarter (28%) noting this as a cause. This was followed by joint injury (24%) and age (16%). Surprisingly, almost a quarter (24%) of respondents did not know what the cause of their osteoarthritis was.

Weakness and muscle wasting were the symptoms that least affected sufferers, with 33% saying they were not affected.

Symptom Management

Lifestyle Changes

Some 70% of osteoarthritis sufferers have made changes to their lifestyle, with an even split of participants using either exercise or a healthy balanced diet to help manage their symptoms. Of those who undertake exercise, 60% find it very effective or effective, with 52% saying the same about a healthy, balanced diet.

Pain Medication

Some 53% of osteoarthritis sufferers have been prescribed pain medication to help manage their osteoarthritis symptoms, with the majority of people (60%) taking strong pain relief such as co-codamol. This is followed by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) creams and gels (32%) and paracetamol (27%).

Of those who take pain medication, 46% find it effective, while 43% said it is not effective.

Supplements and Complementary Therapies

Most osteoarthritis sufferers (63%) have not used any supplements and complementary therapies. Of those who have used supplements and complementary therapies, the most commonly used are:

  • Supplements and herbal remedies (64%)
  • Massage (38%)
  • Acupuncture (29%)

Experiences with Osteoarthritis

Just over half of people say that their osteoarthritis has not affected their lifestyle (51%); however, those who have experienced changes, most people had to reduce their public transport usage (33%), followed by their ability to care for themselves (29%) and making changes to their duties at work (28%).

If you would like to share your experiences with us, please feel free to take the survey here.

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