Living with a chronic disease like osteoarthritis can be challenging. Awareness days offer an excellent opportunity to support the community with education, support, advocacy, and research opportunities. World Arthritis Day is October 12th, and we’re shining a light on some arthritis basics and how participating in research studies may help.
The Umbrella of Arthritis
When most people hear the word arthritis, they think of it as an “old person” condition or the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. The truth is, arthritis is a term covering over 100 conditions affecting the joints, tissues around the joint, and other connective tissue. Specific symptoms vary by type, but most include chronic inflammation and structural changes to the joint. This leads to joint pain and stiffness.
The specific cause of arthritis remains unknown. However, health experts believe they may be triggered by infection, crystal deposition, genetics, injury, or repetitive use. The most common types of arthritis include:
- Osteoarthritis– OA is the most common type of arthritis in the U.S. It is a degenerative joint disease primarily affecting the hands, hips, and knees.
- Fibromyalgia– This condition causes widespread pain, sleeping issues, and fatigue.
- Gout– Gout is a painful condition caused by a buildup of uric acid crystals. It typically affects one joint at a time and is usually found in the largest joint of your big toe.
- Psoriatic Arthritis– PsA is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Patients can experience swelling, stiffness, and pain in their joints and surrounding tissues, as well as nail changes and extreme fatigue.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis– (RA) is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. RA commonly affects the joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. However, it can attack any joint in the body.
- Lupus– Lupus is an autoimmune disease consisting of 4 main types. The most common is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) which can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels.
Help Spread the Word
World Arthritis Day activities are taking place virtually and all over the globe on October 12th. These events work to promote awareness of arthritis types and symptoms and the significance of early diagnosis. When treated early enough, individuals with arthritis can help prevent the advancement of the disease as soon as possible. You can find an event near you by clicking here.
Clinical research plays a critical role in advancing detection, treatment, and prevention methods for conditions like arthritis. By partnering with patients, we can learn more about the various types of arthritis. Every bit of information gained goes towards improving treatment options. Charlottesville Medical Research is currently seeking individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee to join enrolling studies looking into potential new options. To learn more, visit our website, or call us at (434) 817-2442.