Versus Arthritis is the UK’s largest charity which supports those suffering with arthritis. It was formed in September 2018 by the merger of two leading arthritis charities, Arthritis Research UK and Arthritis Care. The two charities also had predecessor organisations, which were founded separately. In 1947, Arthur Mainwaring Bowen founded the British Rheumatic Association. Having developed ankylosing spondylitis at the age of 19, Bowen discovered young people needed considerable support during his own long stays at hospital. Within a decade, the Association had grown to support countless sufferers of arthritis and was renamed arthritis care. Similarly, Arthritis Research UK was founded as the Empire Rheumatism Council in 1936. The discoverer of ibuprofen, Dr Stewart Adams, established the Arthritis Research UK Pain Centre in Nottingham, which endeavours to understand pain and how to combat it.
The Pain Centre Versus Arthritis
Today, Versus Arthritis conducts research on pain alleviation and how sufferers can improve their standard of living. With around 10 million people in the UK suffering from arthritis, The Pain Centre Versus Arthritis is one of the charity’s ways of tackling the disease. The Pain Centre brings together healthcare professionals and researchers from various fields to address the following research questions:
- Why do people get arthritis pain?
- What’s the impact of pain on health and wellbeing?
- What makes arthritis pain worse?
Arthritis in the UK
Affecting 10 million people, arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in joints. It can affect people of all ages, even children. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting people in the UK, with around 9 million sufferers. Developing mostly in adults who are in their mid-40s, the condition can result from a genetic propensity or injury. Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage in joints, causing pain and stiffness.