According to the Arthritis Foundation, the disease affects 50 million Americans. Arthritis actually includes more than 100 different diseases or conditions, all musculoskeletal disorders.
The most common arthritis diseases are osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and juvenile arthritis (JA). Most people think of OA when considering arthritis. The most commonly occurring, OA is a progressive degenerative disease characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage.
A systemic disease, RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. This causes fluid to build in the joints, resulting in pain and inflammation throughout the body.
Juvenile arthritis references a number of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that develop in children ages 16 and under.
Research into arthritis focuses on finding drugs to improve symptoms or even cure the disease. Clinical trials are a necessary part of any medical research, and there are many focused on arthritis treatment. If you suffer from arthritis, you might be eligible to volunteer for a clinical trial in your area.
Participating in a clinical trial not only provides you with access to unique medical care, but affords the opportunity to improve the health of millions more.