A shocking new report has found that, on average, osteoarthritis sufferers have to wait three years to be diagnosed and referred for treatment.
The charity Arthritis Care’s new report found that patients had to visit their doctor at least three times to be diagnosed with osteoarthritis and most suffered intolerable and constant pain for 2-3 year before treatment was offered.[quote]The number people in the UK suffering from arthritis, which is currently 8.5 million, is expected to double over the next 20 years due to the ageing population and higher levels of obesity. By 2030 this will have reached 17million, according to the report by Arthritis Care.[/quote]
The study on 2,000 arthritis patients found that over 70% were in constant pain for up to three years before diagnosis, drastically reducing life quality and, in some cases, forcing early retirement from work.
Osteoarthritis, which normally develops in later life and causes damage to the cartilage. The most common areas of pain are the hips, knees, hands and feet. There is no cure but the pain can be substantially reduced through exercise, weight loss and pain killing anti-inflammatory drugs and natural alternatives.
The main problems with regularly taking pain killing drugs is that they can lead to other side effects such as stomach upset and vision disturbances. It is increasingly the opinion of many doctors that a combination of painkillers and natural anti-inflammatory treatments is the best long term method of pain management for osteoarthritis.