Dr Paul Chrisp, the director of the center for guidelines at Nice, said: “Osteoarthritis can cause people discomfort and prevent them from undertaking some of their normal daily activities.
“However, there is evidence which shows muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise can have an impact on not just managing the condition, but also providing people with an improved quality of life.
“Beginning that journey can be uncomfortable for some people at first, and they should be supported and provided with enough information to help them to manage their condition over a long period of time.”
He added: “Whilst topical and sometimes oral NSAIDs remain an important treatment option for osteoarthritis, we have taken the decision to not recommend some painkillers, such as paracetamol and some opioids for osteoarthritis.
“This is because new evidence has shown there was little or no benefit to people’s quality of life, pain or psychological distress and particularly in the case of strong opioids, there was evidence that they can cause harm in the longer term, including possible addiction. ”
In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or other, similar conditions that affect the joints.
The most affected areas are the knees, hips and small hand joints.