Osteoarthritis (OA) Clinical Trials & Research
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Do you know why we conduct clinical trials for osteoarthritis? There is still no comprehensive cure for people who have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA). Clinical trials serve as viable alternatives for people who have not found success through more conventional arthritis treatments.
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common medical conditions in the world. As the human body ages, the wear and tear that we put on our joints causes a natural degradation of the cartilage (the cushioning between the bones in the joint). After enough of it has been broken down over the years, the bones will begin to rub against each other which leads to pain and the gradual loss of joint mobility.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the human body (similar to rheumatoid arthritis), but studies have shown that OA symptoms tend to manifest in these joints:
- Lower back
Osteoarthritis Fast Facts
- Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis
- More than half of all American adults over 65 have OA
- It is extremely rare for a child or adolescent to develop OA
- The exact cause of OA is still unknown
Human cartilage is a rubbery tissue that covers the ends of the bones in our joints. Its primary function is to act as a shock absorber and allow the bones in the joint to glide smoothly over each other. The cartilage’s ability to absorb shock comes from the fact that it can alter its shape when flattened or compressed.
If a person starts developing osteoarthritis, the cartilage in their affected joint will start to lose its natural elasticity and become stiffer. If the cartilage no longer has the shock absorbing ability, then it becomes much more susceptible to damage. Eventually, the cartilage may get worn away completely. This degradation in the joints causes ligaments and tendons to stretch further than what is customary, which produces more pain in the joint. As OA continues to progress, the bones of the joint will start to rub against each other directly.
Healthcare experts have estimated that the number of Americans living with this form of arthritis is around 27 million. Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability among adults and our risk only increases as we get older. OA clinical studies have shown that the majority of people over 65 exhibit tell-tale signs in varying levels of severity. Interestingly enough, it has also been shown that women are more likely to develop this condition than men.
Osteoarthritis Risk Factors
Researchers may still be unclear as to the exact cause of this medical condition, they have identified several risk factors that could increase your risk for OA. If any of the following apply, you may want to consider getting tested for osteoarthritis:
- Being obese puts excess stress on your weight-bearing joints and makes you much more susceptible to OA in the knees, hip and lower back. There are several treatments for osteoarthritis, but you’d be better off taking steps now to maintain a healthier overall weight.
- Studies have shown that certain hereditary traits can leave people with defective cartilage— meaning degradation occurs much quicker. If you were born with some form of joint abnormality, then its much more likely that you will develop osteoarthritis (likely at a younger age too).
- The average human life puts an immense amount of stress on the joints, but some occupations really lead to overuse. If you work a job that requires you to bend at the knees regularly, then be wary of developing OA in the knee.
- One of the most common risk factors for this condition are injuries that compromise the health of the joints, such as many sports-related traumas. This could make you predisposed to developing osteoarthritis in the affected joint.
Osteoarthritis Clinical Trials in Birmingham, Alabama
Achieve Clinical Research is currently conducting a wide array of clinical studies targeted towards certain conditions. You may be eligible to participate in one of our OA clinical trials and contribute to the development and approval of a new drug or treatment. As a participant, there is no cost to you at any point during the study and health insurance is not required. Browse our clinical trials being conducted now to find the study best suited for you.
An Animated Video Explaining the Causes of Osteoarthritis
Resources for Patients with Osteoarthritis
If you live around Central Alabama, click here to learn more about participating in an osteoarthritis clinical trial. Also, our sister site Avail Clinical Research conducts osteoarthritis clinical trials in DeLand, Florida.