#PainNoFilter: help us shine a light on the reality of living with arthritis

Images of people in pain.

This month we launched a bold, new social media campaign to shine a light on the true reality of the 18 million people in the UK living with arthritis and musculoskeletal (MSK) pain. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response. Every post shares a personal story and shows an unfiltered view of what living with arthritis looks like. 

Millions of people in the UK live in pain every single day.  And arthritis and related conditions are the largest cause of that pain.

It’s not short-term or one-off bursts but often constant and persistent. In fact, half of people with arthritis experience pain every single day and as many as eight in ten say they experience pain ‘most days.’

Yet the pain of arthritis remains hidden. In a public poll we ran two in five people with arthritis told us they actively hide the pain of their condition from their loved ones. Half do so because they feel people wouldn’t understand what it’s like to live with. Almost a third (30%) of people with arthritis also actively avoid social media because of its ‘filtered’ nature.

Despite its scale and impact society dismisses MSK pain as “just a bit of arthritis” or “just a bit of pain”. 

That’s not ok and we need your help to change that.  

#PainNoFilter aims to show the reality of living with the pain of arthritis and related conditions - no airbrushing, no filters, just a single image of what a moment in the life of someone in pain looks like.

If you have arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition, we’re asking you to share one image of your #PainNoFilter reality on your Instagram using the hashtag and tagging us @VersusArthritis.

Eleanor Farr, 25, from Chester, who lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis, said:

“#PainNoFilter is an important campaign which is aimed to show people what it’s really like to live with the pain of arthritis. In my experience, people have often dismissed it because I’m young and because it’s an invisible condition, but arthritis can affect anyone. It impacts people’s lives in so many ways - from self-confidence, to socialising. I was diagnosed when I just started uni and it really impacted my self-esteem. But hopefully this campaign will make others aware of the reality of living with persistent pain.”

We hope that together we can start changing the way people think about the pain of arthritis and make it easier for people with arthritis to speak out about their condition.

How you can get involved:

  • If you are living with arthritis pain: Share an image on Instagram that captures your #PainNoFilter reality – remember to tag @VersusArthritis and use the campaign hashtag #PainNoFilter. Don’t use Instagram? No problem! Just use any other social media platform like Facebook or Twitter.

  • Everyone else: Show your support for people living with the pain of arthritis by liking, sharing and posting supportive comments on #PainNoFilter images on social media.

Find the support you need

We’re here whenever you need us. If you want help, support or information – get in touch.