Osteoarthritis causes work problems

A joint condition that affects millions of people across the UK is causing 10% of sufferers problems at work, a poll found.

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A Leeds University researcher has warned about the impact of osteoarthritis on older workers

A joint condition that affects millions of people across the UK is causing 10% of sufferers problems at work, a poll found.

One in 10 osteoarthritis sufferers aged 55 and over say that their work has been affected by their condition.

Of these, 67% said they had to give up work all together.

Nearly a fifth had to change the activities they perform at work because of their symptoms and 12% have been forced to reduce the number of hours they work, according to the poll of 700 sufferers conducted by knee and lower back pain therapy company AposTherapy.

Osteoarthritis researcher Professor Philip Conaghan, from the University of Leeds, said: "One of the key issues that this survey highlights is the massive negative impact of osteoarthritis on people in work.

"With a rapidly ageing population and financial imperatives for us to stay in the work force longer, the consequences will include much more personal anguish and even greater economic burden on society. We need to understand the osteoarthritis treatment strategies that will maintain people in their jobs"

Ed Butler, UK clinical lead at AposTherapy, added: "The new research findings present a real concern as osteoarthritis is by far the most common form of joint disease in the UK, affecting approximately eight million people.

"As well as the individuals who suffer, there is also the greater impact on society as a whole to consider. In 2008, there was an estimated cost of £10 billion on the economy due to people being forced into permanent retirement because of either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis."

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the joints of the body become damaged, stop moving freely and become painful and is the most common kind of arthritis.