UK heading for joint crisis

According to data collected from over 13,000 adults, the average person in the UK has a joint age of more than 10 years over their actual age, with younger people having the greatest disparity between the two.

Musculoskeletal health problems are costing taxpayers and businesses approximately £5.7 billion annually, and 10 million working days are being lost each year due to the growing problem. Healthcare professionals are reporting that an increasing number of their patients are presenting with joint problems, and 1 in 4 GP appointments in the UK are related to musculoskeletal problems.

The research, which was conducted by Seven Seas JointCare, shows that 75% of 25-34-year-olds have joints that ache or creak, and almost 40% of 25-34 year-olds have a joint age of over 50.

But advice from health care professionals to take early preventative action is not always being heeded. While 76% of osteopaths recommend that their patients take glucosamine for joint health, only 13% of 35-44-year-olds actually take a glucosamine supplement, despite the fact that more than 20% of this group have already been diagnosed with a joint problem and 74% have joints that ache or creak.

GP Dr Rosemary Leonard says: “Healthcare professionals need to do more to help patients understand how best to care for their joints and take preventative measures. This could include taking a glucosamine and omega-3 supplement”.

Jane Wolfe