A nationwide survey by Arthritis Care has revealed that people are enduring years of pain before seeking help for their condition.
The sample of 2000 people showed that 16 per cent waited over one year while 28 per cent waited more than two years before taking action.
More than half of those who delayed did so because it did not occur to them that it could be arthritis while 28 per cent thought it was arthritis but that nothing could be done and 22 per cent did not think that arthritis affected people of their age.
More than 70 per cent sought help only when the pain got too much, 61 per cent when their mobility was limited and 49 per cent because it was limiting their enjoyment of life.
Judi Rhys, Arthritis Care CEO, said: “People are needlessly enduring years of pain and fatigue, giving up the things they love and that give their life meaning and purpose.
“We urgently need to see arthritis become a public health priority. Early recognition of the symptoms and diagnosis can immediately improve people’s lives and prevent more serious health problems later on.”