Everyday People Matter

New Blood Test Could Help Early Identification of Osteoarthritis

| Oct 31, 2016 | Arthritis, Social Security Administration (SSA)

Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by extreme pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints. The condition can make it difficult for a person to stand or walk for long periods of time, and often impairs their ability to work and earn a living.

Osteoarthritis is the slow loss of cartilage from joints. The loss of the cartilage causes friction between bones, resulting in the formation of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis often causes severe pain in the knees, hips, spine and feet.

Early diagnosis of osteoarthritis can help patients who suffer from this condition implement better pain management strategies. Researchers at Warwick University recently announced that they have developed a blood test that can help in the early diagnosis of osteoarthritis.

Timely diagnosis of osteoarthritis is critical, and often very complicated because the symptoms of the condition are very similar to those of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. According to the researchers, their blood test will not only help identify osteoarthritis, but also distinguish osteoarthritis symptoms from those of other inflammatory joint disorders. According to the researchers, the findings of the study are very important, because an earlier diagnosis can help patients adopt strategies that can prevent further deterioration of the condition.

In order to qualify for disability benefits for osteoarthritis, you must meet the criteria defined in the “joint dysfunction” or “disorders of the spine” sections of the Social Security Administration Blue Book. If, however, you do not meet these criteria, you may be able to qualify for benefits based on a residual functioning capacity form. This residual functioning capacity form will specify your condition, its limitations on your movement, treatment options and other details.