Chronic Joint Pain


Lead Author(s): 

Stuart I. Weinstein, MD
Edward H. Yelin, PhD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Chronic joint pain increases with age, but peaks in the 65- to 74-year age group. Among the 63.1 million persons reporting chronic joint pain in 2012, knee pain is the most frequently cited, with 40 million people reporting knee pain. Chronic knee pain is reported by all ages older than 18Proportion of Population [1] Age 18 and Older Reporting Joint Pain [2], United States 2012 years, with more than one in four aged 65 and older reporting knee pain. Shoulder pain, reported by 18.7 million of those age 18 and older, is the second most common joint for chronic pain, with rates fairly equal for those age 45 and older. Hip pain was reported by 15.3 million persons age 18 and older.

While multiple joints can be the source of chronic joint pain, overall, one in four people over the age of 18 report chronic joint pain. The ratio jumps to more than two in five after the age of 65 years. However, even among younger adults age 18 to 44, about one in six report chronic joint pain. (Reference Table 1.4.2 PDF CSV)

Females report higher rates of chronic joint pain than do males, with the exception of shoulder pain. Race is not a variable in the rate of chronic joint pain, with the exception of those of Asian race, who report lower joint pain rates than other racial groups. (Reference Table 1.4.1 PDF CSV and Table 1.4.3 PDF CSV)


  • 2014

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