The epidemiology and impact of pain in osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Sep;21(9):1145-53. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.03.018.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of disability worldwide, largely due to pain, the primary symptom of the disease. The pain experience in knee OA in particular is well-recognized as typically transitioning from intermittent weight-bearing pain to a more persistent, chronic pain. Methods to validly assess pain in OA studies have been developed to address the complex nature of the pain experience. The etiology of pain in OA is recognized to be multifactorial, with both intra-articular and extra-articular risk factors. Nonetheless, greater insights are needed into pain mechanisms in OA to enable rational mechanism-based management of pain. Consequences of pain related to OA contribute to a substantial socioeconomic burden.

Keywords: Osteoarthritis; Pain; Risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthralgia / epidemiology*
  • Arthralgia / psychology
  • Arthralgia / therapy
  • Chronic Pain / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology*
  • Pain Management
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors