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Survey reveals impact of arthritis pain on everyday lives

Published on 25 May 2010

A new survey of people with arthritis has revealed that many are in so much pain that they are prevented from doing daily tasks such as making a cup of tea or going to the shops.

Arthritis Care questioned over 2,000 people with arthritis in order to determine the impact of joint conditions on people's everyday lives.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they had difficulty making a cup of tea on bad days, while 64 per cent were unable to do housework.

Seventy-seven per cent revealed that pain prevents them from sleeping through the night and 50 per cent were not able to work.

The survey, which was published to coincide with Arthritis Care Week (May 24th to 30th), also highlighted the impact of arthritis on people's relationships.

Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of respondents said they are sometimes in too much pain to have sex and 65 per cent revealed that even hugging a loved one can be difficult.

Yet 94 per cent of people with arthritis admitted that they hide their pain from their friends and family members, and 57 per cent said they would only seek medical help if the pain became unbearable.

Neil Betteridge, chief executive of Arthritis Care, said that arthritis can have a "shocking" impact on activities that most people take for granted.

"Pain can damage people's lives, as our survey indicates that an estimated 3.5 million people with arthritis are unable to have intimate relationships," he pointed out.

"It is crucial that people seek help as soon as they can, rather than putting up with these unacceptable restrictions on life."

The Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre will open at the University of Nottingham on July 1st. The centre will bring together experts in a number of related research fields with the aim of finding new and more effective treatments for arthritic pain.

Pain relief pioneer to open arthritis pain centre

Rubbing hands

An expert network of doctors and research scientists is forming the world’s first national centre for research into understanding pain in arthritis.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.