Self-Reported Musculoskeletal Conditions


Lead Author(s): 

Beatrice J. Edwards, MD

Supporting Author(s): 

Sylvia I. Watkins-Castillo, PhD

Arthritis is self-reported in 2012 at the highest among persons aged 75 years and older (49%), but by nearly as many in the 65- to 74-year age range (47%). Only 30% of ages 45 to 64 years self-report they have a form of arthritis. Chronic joint pain, however, is reported at the highest rate by the 65- to 74-year age group, with both those aged 75 years and older and 45 to 64 years reporting rates of chronic joint pain at close to this rate. Low back pain, on the other hand, was self-reported at the highest rate by persons aged 45 to 64 years, closely followed by all persons age 65 years and older. Overall, 126.6 million people age 18 years and older self-reported one or more types of musculoskeletal conditions in 2012. (Reference Table 9B.1 PDF CSV)

Self-Reported Musculoskeletal Conditions, by Age, United States 2012

The most common chronic joint pain reported by the 63.1 million people of all ages is knee pain, followed by shoulder pain. However, the rate per 100 people reporting chronic pain in specific joints varies by age. Knee pain is reported by 22% to 26% of people age 45 years and older, with these age groups reporting shoulder pain at rates of 11% to 13.5%. Hip and finger joint pain are both reported at higher rates by people age 65 years and older, while ankle pain has the highest rate among people aged 45 to 64 years. Joint pain in the ankle, wrist, elbow, and toes is lower among those in the oldest age group, compared to those 45 to 74 years of age, possibly due to being less active and placing lower stress on these joints. (Reference Table 9B.1 PDF CSV)

Self-Reported Chronic Joint Pain, by Age, United States 2012



  • 2014

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