Survey highlights pain issues for arthritis sufferers

Only a third of people with arthritis are currently being offered help with self-management, according to a national survey.

But 78 per cent of those that had received advice or support from health professionals on managing their condition said it was useful.

Arthritis Nation 2014, a quantitative survey of 2,000 people in England, assessing the experience and real-life implications of pain due to all types of arthritis was published by Arthritis Care on 14 May.

More than a third (35 per cent) of people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gout had also had physiotherapy, and a quarter (23 per cent) had received steroid injections directly into an affected joint.

People with ankylosing spondylitis (62 per cent) were the largest group accessing physiotherapy, according to the survey.

Arthritis Care chief executive Judi Rhys said: ‘The results of our Arthritis Nation survey highlight the importance of support and advice for self-management, with 78 per cent of those receiving it saying that it was helpful. But only one third of people with arthritis are currently being offered this help.

‘This is a situation we need to change, both for the sake of the millions of people currently enduring this pain and to alleviate the burden on society as a whole.’

The report also highlighted the debilitating effects of the condition, as 70 per cent of people living with arthritis reported experiencing constant pain despite taking any relevant medication. While 43 per cent said it impacted on their or their partner’s working life, with 18 per cent having to given up work entirely. 

SOURCE: Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, 23 May 2014

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