According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 million Americans are living with some form of arthritis. Common symptoms of this musculoskeletal disorder include pain and immobility of the joints. In severe cases, those diagnosed with certain forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may be unable to walk or may experience severely decreased mobility.
Despite the pervasiveness of the painflu disorder, medical researchers and doctors in the U.S. know very little about arthritis. Currently, a formal diagnosis may only occur after numerous tests are administered to rule out other possible causes of the pain suffered by arthritis patients. In most cases, a delay in diagnosis can have devastating effects as patients suffer while the disorder is allowed to progress.
Doctors at a prominent U.S. university are partnering together in hopes of discovering ways to better diagnose arthritic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia, and to treat those suffering from the ill-effects of these disorders.
Doctors belive that injuries previously suffered, particularly those to large joints such as the hips and knees, increase the likelihood that an individual will develop arthritis. Through their concerted research efforts, doctors hope to not only be able to identify those factors that may contribute to the development of the disorder, but also discover better treatment options to help arthritis patients manage pain and improve mobility.
In some cases, individuals with certain types of arthritis may qualify to receive disability benefits. The painful side effects of arthritis may render an individual disabled and therefore unable to perform daily work duties. An attorney who handles disability matters can often assist such individuals in obtaining social security disability benefits.
Source: San Fransisco Chronicle, "UCSF flexing muscles against arthritis," Kristen V. Brown, Aug. 27, 2013