Feeling Moody? New Survey Says Your Joints May Be the Cause

By on October 9, 2018

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting more than 30 million Americans. It creates a “wear and tear” on the joints, causing stiffness and pain that builds up over time. While most understand the pain from osteoarthritis can limit someone’s physical activity, like walking up and down stairs or going on bike rides, there’s an emotional and mental toll from the pain that’s rarely discussed. 

A recent survey commissioned by DePuy Synthes of women aged 45 to 65 in the U.S. who experienced knee and hip pain found that it can considerably impact mood and relationships with friends, a significant other, and family. The results conclude that joint pain has become far more emotionally and socially isolating than initially thought.

The survey also showed:

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  • Almost all (90%) respondents agree they are not able to live the life they think they should be living.
  • Half of respondents (51%) agree that because of their joint pain they are losing touch with the people they care about, while four out of five (81%) have made excuses to not do things with friends or family due to their joint pain.
  • Three out of four (75%) respondents agree that those around them often forget about the strain knee and/or hip pain can have on their personal relationships.
  • Nine out of ten (90%) respondents say their joint pain impacts their mood negatively, leaving them feeling frustrated, limited, and exhausted.

It’s clear the impacts of joint pain go far beyond mobility. It negatively impacts quality of life, making it difficult to maintain relationships and feel like yourself. 

Due to the physical limitations of joint pain, women are often sitting on the sidelines of their life, making it difficult to be active and spend time with friends, grandchildren, and a spouse. When women are missing out because of the physical barriers and managing debilitating pain, it can cause an emotional strain. I see many of my patients make daily decisions based on what their joints can handle. Their pain is at the center of their day rather than their own wants and needs. 

The good news is that there are solutions. The survey also unveiled that since getting joint a replacement, two out of three (66%) respondents report their relationship with their spouse or partner has improved and 60 percent report their sex life has improved.  

Joint pain shouldn’t be shrugged off as a normal part of aging. Seeking treatment is less about your age and more about your level of pain and immobility. If your joint pain is affecting you emotionally and physically, speak to your doctor and learn more about your options to relieve your joint pain, including physical therapy, pain medications, or joint replacement surgery. 

For resources related to hip and knee pain, you can also visit www.timetohitplay.com.

By: Dr. Anna Kulidjian, MSC, FRCSC, Associate Clinical Professor, Joint Reconstruction and Limb Preservation, Program Director Orthopaedic Oncology at Scripps Clinic-Green Hospital

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Feeling Moody? New Survey Says Your Joints May Be the Cause