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Research roadmap for pain

An inflamed jointThe pain caused by arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions results in a substantial loss in quality of life. Eight out of ten people with arthritis experience pain on most days, with depression four times more common in people with persistent pain compared to those without pain. 

Since 2015, we’ve been supporting pain as a priority area for research and have launched a number of focused calls including our pain challenge. However, given the depth and scale of the problem of musculoskeletal pain and the urgent need for new treatments, further strategic research funding is needed. 

Over the course of 2017 and early 2018 we developed a research roadmap for pain which outlines the most pressing and vital areas for future pain research. If research funders turn their focus on understanding the challenges in each of these areas and prioritising funding to tackle these challenges, we will positively transform the lives of people with arthritis and take away the daily impact of pain on all aspects of life. 

Our research roadmap for pain (PDF 1.04 MB) contains information on: 

  • The challenge of musculoskeletal pain
  • the journey to developing this research roadmap for pain
  • quotes from those involved in the process
  • our 14 areas for future research to address. 

This research roadmap marks the beginning of the journey. Further understanding of each area is now required to begin to prioritise activities. If you have a great idea, or would like more information, please get in touch with us on

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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.