Chronic osteoarthritis (OA) pain leads to severe impairments in physical functioning and quality of life. Data of patients with severe chronic knee and/or hip OA pain were extracted from the database of a prospective, noninterventional trial to assess the benefits of tapentadol prolonged release (PR) in elderly patients (>65 years of age; n = 1162) compared with younger patients (≤65 years of age; n = 498). Tapentadol PR treatment (up to 3 months) significantly reduced pain intensity and pain-related restrictions on daily functioning and significantly improved physical and mental quality of life in both patient groups. The incidence of adverse drug reactions was low. Tapentadol PR is a useful strong analgesic to improve pain intensity, physical functioning and quality of life in elderly OA patients.