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Over-50s keeping joint pain to themselves and missing out on physio

Tuesday 27th February 2018
A significant number of over-50s are staying quiet about the fact they suffer from joint pain, meaning they are potentially missing out on vital physiotherapy as a result. Image: Wavebreakmedia via iStock
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Almost two-thirds of over-50s in the UK are struggling with joint pain that they are not seeking treatment for, despite the fact that physiotherapy would most likely help them.

This is according to recent research carried out by Fortius Clinic, which found that 42 per cent of people aged 50 and above are currently suffering from painful joints, with 85 per cent having experienced joint pain to some degree over the past two years, the Daily Express reports.

Some 63 per cent of survey respondents admitted that the pain in their knees or hips was so severe that they had been prevented from leading a life as active as they would like, with one in ten revealing that their mental health had suffered as a result.

Overall, 64 per cent of those questioned said they had not sought professional medical help for their symptoms, meaning their conditions were potentially at risk of worsening in the long term.

On average, over-50s were found to wait for as long as 16 months before speaking to their GP, by which time the level of physiotherapy that they require is likely to be more intense. This could also mean they are more likely to be in need of a full joint replacement.

Participants were asked why they were delaying seeking treatment and 48 per cent responded that they believed it was easier to live with the pain, while a further 28 per cent said they thought they should cope with it for as long as possible.

Meanwhile, 12 per cent admitted to being scared of potential surgery, another 12 per cent were concerned about the associated recovery time and ten per cent said they were worried about still being in pain afterwards.

Andy Williams, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and founder at Fortius Clinic, commented: "The number of people putting off seeking help for joint pain is staggering.

"Over-50s today are more active than ever and should be looking forward to so many more healthy years ahead - but by ignoring their pain and disability, and the success of joint replacement, they are condemned to prolonged suffering."

Written by Mathew Horton

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