What is pain?
Pain is usually a protective mechanism that alerts the brain when damage has occurred. It can have many different causes and can have emotional effects too, making us feel upset or distressed. Read more
Pain and the brain
Your spinal cord has special 'gate' mechanisms that interfere with pain messages coming from your nerves. Once the pain signal gets to your brain, it's further changed by even more complex systems. Read more
What are the most common causes of joint and muscle pain?
Long-term joint or muscle pain can have a number of different causes including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, neck and back pain, and chronic pain syndromes. Read more
Relief for arthritis, joint and muscle pain
There are now more approaches available than ever before to help manage pain. Drugs, physical treatments and coping strategies can all play a part. Read more
Self-help tips for long-term pain
For some people pain doesn't respond fully to drugs or physical treatments and can't be cured by surgery. In this case it's worth thinking about lifestyle changes or pain management strategies. Read more
What should I do if my pain is severe?
If your pain is severe and it's difficult for you to find other things to concentrate on, you should be referred to a pain management clinic. Learning new ways to cope with pain can help. Read more
Research and new developments
Arthritis Research UK is proud to support the world's first national centre for research into understanding the mechanisms of pain in arthritis, the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre. Read more