New NICE Chronic Pain Assessment - Arthritis Action

New NICE Chronic Pain Assessment

07 April 2021

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a new report on chronic pain, recommending a shift away from prescribing pain-relief medication. The report recommends physical exercise, psychological support, and acupuncture for pain-relief, as first level approaches.

Wendy Holden, Consultant Rheumatologist and Arthritis Action Medical Adviser, said:

“It’s very encouraging to see this new guidance from NICE. There is no absolute cure for many causes of chronic pain, however lifestyle choices can really help reduce painful symptoms. For example, smoking increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and can make medicines for arthritis less effective. Being overweight significantly increases the risk of osteoarthritis, especially in the hips, knees and feet, and makes drugs for rheumatoid arthritis less effective. Drinking excess alcohol can trigger attacks of gout.

Many people worry that hard work or exercise can cause conditions such as arthritis, but this is definitely not the case. Exercise doesn’t damage the joints, and in fact is one of the most important things that you can do to help with the pain and stiffness of arthritis.”

You can read the the new guidance on the NICE website: ‘Chronic pain (primary and secondary) in over 16s: assessment of all chronic pain and management of chronic primary pain’.

Quality standards help improve quality of care. As such, Arthritis Action is committed to sharing new guidance updates to bring you evidence-based and highest quality healthcare advice.