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Ann Afr Med. 2014 Apr-Jun;13(2):65-70. doi: 10.4103/1596-3519.129863.

Pattern of arthralgia in an urban community in Southwestern Nigeria.

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Department of Community Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.



Arthritis is a common presentation among Nigerians, most especially in the elderly population. Easy access to over-the-counter drugs, paucity of data, and non-orthodox medical practice have underscored the need to examine the magnitude of the problem toward morbidity reduction risk factors. The objective of the study was to determine the pattern of arthralgia in Osogbo community in Southwestern Nigeria.


This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted between September 2010 and August 2011. Respondents were serially recruited as they presented to the randomly selected healthcare facilities. Interviewer administered questionnaires, and modified checklist were used for collecting clients information, physical examination, X-ray, and laboratory results. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software.


A total of 90 cases were screened, with a male to female ratio of 1:1.5 and age range of 50-59 years. Females were more affected among the studied respondents, and this was statistically significant (p < 0.05). About half (48.9%) used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) for the pain, while about 17.8% used traditional herbs. Osteoarthritis of the knee was the most common radiological finding, constituting about 86.7% of the 30 respondents that had X-ray done. Only one case tested positive to rheumatoid factor in high-dilution titer. Notable complication of arthralgia in this study was loss of time off work in 46.6% of the respondents.


Arthralgia of the knee joint was most common in the studied area, followed by that of hip and the ankle. Weight reduction strategies and prompt diagnosis and treatment were advocated. Since about half of the respondents used NSAID, the use of enteric-coated NSAID tablets would go a long way to minimize the unwanted side effects of NSAID, notably peptic ulceration and erosion.

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