Everyday People Matter

Researchers Identify Early Warning Signs of Arthritis

| May 7, 2013 | Arthritis

Persons who suffer from osteoarthritis can be eligible for Social Security disability benefits if they can show that their symptoms are severe enough. For example, you may be eligible if you are unable to walk, stand for long periods of time, and have severe back problems.

Osteoarthritis is a condition, in which there is stiffness and swelling in the joints, severe pain, and muscular weakness. The person may also suffer from reduced range of motion in the joints, restricting movement.

According to new research, cartilage damage can help identify the earliest stages of osteoarthritis. The study was conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, who developed a technique that identifies changes that occur in cartilage, after a person engages in high-risk activities like running and jumping.

During the early stages of osteoarthritis, the cartilage, which is the rubbery tissue that keeps bones from rubbing against each other, suffers from a reduced ability to resist impact. Researchers found that such cartilage damage was an early sign of osteoarthritis, and in this early stage of the disease, there was a reduced ability of the tissue or cartilage to resist high-load activities, like jumping or running.

Approximately 1/3rd of older adults in the United States are believed to suffer from osteoarthritis. Broadly, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, it is important to show that your condition makes it impossible for you to perform routine activities like walking, standing, pushing, pulling, carrying, handling, and bending.

For example, people who suffer from osteoarthritis are typically limited in the way that they can use their arms and hands, and have problems with standing and walking. These impairments could make you eligible for benefits.