Elderly woman bone joint pain

Researchers at the University of East Anglia are launching a new study to see how COVID-19 and lockdown are affecting people with bone, joint and muscle pain.

Their previous research has revealed the challenges and poor health outcomes caused by social isolation and loneliness for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia.

Now, the team are looking for people with bone, joint and muscle pain to take part in a 12-week online survey to see how they are coping at this difficult time of coronavirus self-isolation.

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The study is being led by Dr Toby Smith, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences, and Prof Alex MacGregor, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

Dr Smith said: “Bone, joint and muscle pain is a major cause of disability for people across the UK. People with these problems often experience pain, joint stiffness, fatigue and muscle weaknesses.

“Bone, joint and muscle diseases are frequently managed with a combination of physical activity and medications.

“The coronavirus pandemic is a major challenge to people’s health and wellbeing, both to young and older people.

“With the current period of self-isolation because of coronavirus, we are worried that this may become a much greater problem – particularly for those with bone, joint and muscle pain.

“We want to know how this might be affecting pain, who is most at risk of experiencing flare-ups of their pain and symptoms, as well as understanding who is most at risk of experiencing reduced wellbeing due to social isolation and loneliness.

“We will also be exploring what strategies or skills are needed to be able to support people to cope better with their pain and symptoms during this time.

“This work is important as it will tell us who is most at risk of poor health and wellbeing during this time, so health services can better support these people during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The survey can be found here

Recently, Versus Arthritis launched a new app designed for young people with arthritis who are shielding and self-isolating throughout the lockdown, enabling teenagers and young adults to track and monitor their symptoms.

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