Experiencing some type of joint pain as you age is common, but what is the proper way to find relief?
Well, according to experts, it’s still important to talk to a doctor about it rather than endlessly self-medicating.
The phone poll was administered in January and February 2022 among 2,277 adults aged 50 to 80.
Findings from the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging include that 70% of people over 50 experience joint pain at least occasionally. About 60% have been told they have some form of arthritis.
Among those who have arthritis symptoms, about 45% said they have pain every day and 49% said it somewhat limits their usual activities.
“If you are feeling joint pain frequently, or it interferes with your normal activities, you don’t have to go it alone,” says Indira Venkat, senior vice president of AARP Research. “Talk with your health provider about how you are treating your joint pain and additional strategies that may help.”
About 80% of those with joint pain said they had at least some confidence they could manage it on their own.
About 66% do so with over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). About 26% reported taking supplements, such as glucosamine or chondroitin. About 11% use cannabidiol (CBD), derived from marijuana, while 9% use marijuana.
About 18% use prescription-only non-opioid pain relievers, 19% get steroid injections, 14% take oral steroids, 14% use opioids and 4% use disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.
But how safe are these treatments?
“There are sizable risks associated with many of these treatment options, especially when taken long-term or in combination with other drugs. Yet 60% of those taking two or more substances for their joint pain said their health care provider hadn’t