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Managing Osteoarthritis-associated Pain


Read time: 40 mins
Last updated:4th Feb 2022
Published:20th Aug 2021

Osteoarthritis Podcasts

Osteoarthritis (OA) specialists Professor Philip Conaghan (University of Leeds), and Assistant Professor Lisa Carlesso (McMaster University) lead two audio podcasts on aspects of OA-associated pain.

These podcasts represent the opinions of Professor Philip Conaghan and Assistant Professor Lisa Carlesso. The content here should not be taken as medical advice and is for informational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare professional for any medical questions.

Podcast 1: The multifaceted nature of pain in osteoarthritis

Join rheumatologist Professor Philip Conaghan, and Assistant Professor Lisa Carlesso, in this in-depth audio discussion on the complex nature of OA-associated pain.

Podcast 2: Osteoarthritis management in the era of COVID-19

In this audio podcast, physiotherapist Assistant Professor Lisa Carlesso and rheumatologist Professor Philip Conaghan critically analyse the impact of COVID-19 on their patients with osteoarthritis, the consequences of physical inactivity and body weight gain caused by home confinement, and the effectiveness of best-evidence online osteoarthritis management programmes (OAMP).

Podcast 1 Additional Information

Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterised by joint pain, stiffness and swelling, and primarily affects the hands, knees, and hips1–4.

OA is a complex, multifaceted disease1. Structural evidence of joint damage does not always associate with the presence and severity of joint pain and pain-related disability. Pain assessment and treatment monitoring of people with OA follows consideration of biological, psychological, and social factors (‘holistic care’), including history-taking and physical examination, the effect of pain on the person’s function, quality of life, occupation, mood, sleep, relationships, and leisure activities1–4.

Holistic care can facilitate the patient-clinician partnership. Collaborative care in which patients and clinicians make shared treatment decisions can improve pain outcomes. In this context, patient preferences for certain treatments for pain are carefully considered, as adherence to treatment recommendations and outcomes can be compromised if the management plan does not meet the patient’s preferences and beliefs. People with OA are mainly older adults, and often have different personal priorities and aspirations, which may influence treatment choice. Patient-reported measures, inclusive of outcomes and experience, can accurately reflect a patients’ perspective about how pain impacts on their health and wellbeing, and their experience in receiving pain care1–4.

Podcast 2 Additional Information

The pandemic spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) became a global health emergency. Whether there is a relationship between COVID-19 infection incidence and complications due to chronic disease is unknown. However, COVID-19 may influence the treatment strategy of complex diseases, such as osteoarthritis (OA)5–10.

OA is the most common age-related joint disease, affecting more than 80% of people older than the age of 55, an age burden shared with the highest severity in COVID-19 patients. OA patients commonly have an array of comorbidities, such as diabetes, inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases, which are shared with COVID-19 patients, and may increase complications. Different OA treatments, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), paracetamol, corticosteroids, and opioids, have a wide range of iatrogenic effects, potentially increasing COVID-19 secondary infection incidence or complications5–10.

Meet the podcast experts

Professor Philip Conaghan

Professor Philip Conaghan (MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCP) is Director of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine (a EULAR Centre of Excellence) at the University of Leeds, and Deputy Director of the NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre. His research focuses on understanding pathogenesis and developing effective therapies for common arthritis and joint problems.

Assistant Professor Lisa Carlesso

Dr Lisa Carlesso is an assistant professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University in Canada, with training as a clinical epidemiologist and a physical therapist. Her research is on understanding the mechanisms and consequences of musculoskeletal pain, with a particular focus on OA joint pain. She is the recipient of the Canadian Arthritis Society's STARS career development award.


  1. RACGP. Guideline for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis, Second Edition. 2018 Accessed 12 July 2021.
  2. American College of Rheumatology. Clinical Practice Guidelines Osteoarthritis. 2019 Accessed 12 July 2021.
  3. Bannuru RR, Osani MC, Vaysbrot EE, Arden NK, Bennell K, Bierma-Zeinstra SMA, et al. OARSI guidelines for the non-surgical management of knee, hip, and polyarticular osteoarthritis. Osteoarthr Cartil. 2019;27(11):1578–1589.
  4. NICE. Osteoarthritis guideline. 2020 Accessed 12 July 2021.
  5. Castro Da Rocha FA, Melo LDP, Berenbaum F. Tackling osteoarthritis during COVID-19 pandemic. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2021;80(2):151–153.
  6. Ragni E, Mangiavini L, Viganò M, Brini AT, Peretti GM, Banfi G, et al. Management of Osteoarthritis During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2020;108(4):719–729.
  7. Karasavvidis T, Hirschmann MT, Kort NP, Terzidis I, Totlis T. Home-based management of knee osteoarthritis during COVID-19 pandemic: literature review and evidence-based recommendations. J Exp Orthop 2020 71. 2020;7(1):1–7.
  8. Marks R, Ray M. COVID-19 and Osteoarthritis Disability: Possible Impact on Premature Mortality, and Excess Morbidity and Preventive Strategies COVID-19 and Osteoarthritis Disability: Possible Impact on Premature Mortality, and Excess Morbidity and Preventive Strategies. J Arthritis. 2020;9:1–005.
  9. Endstrasser F, Braito M, Linser M, Spicher A, Wagner M, Brunner A. The negative impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on pain and physical function in patients with end-stage hip or knee osteoarthritis. Knee Surgery, Sport Traumatol Arthrosc. 2020;28(8):2435–2443.
  10. Quicke J, Swaithes LR, Campbell LH, Bowden JL, Eyles JP, Allen KD, et al. The OARSI “joint effort initiative” repository of online osteoarthritis management programmes: an implementation rapid response during covid-19. Osteoarthr Cartil. 2021;29:S87–S89.