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This publication is provided for historical reference only and the information may be out of date.

Cover of Osteoarthritis


National Clinical Guideline for Care and Management in Adults

NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 59


London: Royal College of Physicians (UK); .
ISBN-13: 978-1-86016-329-6


This guideline applies to people with a working diagnosis of osteoarthritis who present for treatment or whose activities of daily living are significantly affected by their osteoarthritis. The management of neck or back pain related to degenerative changes in spine are not part of this guideline.

People presenting to health professionals with osteoarthritis complain of joint pain, they do not complain of radiological change. Thus, these guidelines are primarily about the management of older patients presenting for treatment of peripheral joint pain, treatment of the pain itself and of the consequences of such pain for patients who have a working diagnosis of osteoarthritis. The Guideline Development Group (GDG) recognised that many of the studies reviewed will have only included participants with symptomatic radiological osteoarthritis and that they are inferring any positive or negative treatment effects apply equally to those with or without radiological change.

The GDG considered the following to represent a clinician’s working diagnosis of peripheral joint osteoarthritis: persistent joint pain that is worse with use, age 45 years old and over, morning stiffness lasting no more than half an hour.


Mission statement: The Royal College of Physicians plays a leading role in the delivery of high quality patient care by setting standards of medical practice and promoting clinical excellence. We provide physicians in the United Kingdom and overseas with education, training and support throughout their careers. As an independent body representing over 20,000 Fellows and Members worldwide, we advise and work with government, the public, patients and other professions to improve health and healthcare.

The National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions: The National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions (NCC-CC) is a collaborative, multiprofessional centre undertaking commissions to develop clinical guidance for the NHS in England and Wales. The NCC-CC was established in 2001. It is an independent body, housed within the Clinical Standards Department at the Royal College of Physicians of London. The NCC-CC is funded by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to undertake commissions for national clinical guidelines on an annual rolling programme.

Suggested citation:

National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions. Osteoarthritis: national clinical guideline for care and management in adults. London: Royal College of Physicians, 2008.

Copyright © 2008, Royal College of Physicians of London.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form (including photocopying or storing it in any medium by electronic means and whether or not transiently or incidentally to some other use of this publication) without the written permission of the copyright owner. Applications for the copyright owner’s written permission to reproduce any part of this publication should be addressed to the publisher.

Bookshelf ID: NBK48984PMID: 21290638


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