Various forms of knee pain and discomfort are among the most common medical problems that beset Americans. Mismanaged diets and lack of physical activities contribute to the development of these chronic conditions. One of the more specific diseases that causes excruciating knee pain is osteoarthritis, a cartilage degenerative disease. Often, this is detected in much later stages, thereby depriving the patient of any chance at preventing any more significant damage.
It looks like a solution may be on the horizon, though, as researchers from the Bristol University reports on their attempt to develop new screening tests that aim to diagnose osteoarthritis earlier:
Researchers at the University of Bristol are hoping to develop new blood tests that would help to diagnose and monitor the common joint condition, osteoarthritis.
… Now a team led by Dr Mohammed Sharif, Senior Lecturer in the School of Clinical Sciences, have been awarded almost £300,000 by medical research charity Arthritis Research UK to find out if two new biomarkers (specific physical traits used to measure or indicate the effects or progress of a disease) found in the blood of patients with osteoarthritis can be used not only to diagnose the condition but also inform doctors which patients are likely to get worse over time, and who is likely to benefit from specific treatments.
At present there are no simple tests for the early diagnosis of osteoarthritis, and usually by the time a definitive diagnosis is made using x-rays, the disease is in its advanced stages.
The general public should welcome such developments as early detection of any kind of disease benefits every patient greatly. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin even once said that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Improvements like that can also help many medical facilities, such as MedWell Spine, OsteoArthritis and Neuropathy Center, provide better treatment for patients of knee pain in Paramus, NJ.
Discovering health problems early is crucial as it increases the chances of curing the disease or, at the very least, successfully managing it. Early treatment also ensures patients that their productivity will not be affected for long. Aside from that, more options could open up for patients, reducing their need for costly surgeries and medications. For example, there are already medical practices in Hackensack, NJ offering knee pain injections that contain Hyalgan, which is found to be a safer and effective treatment for patients in the long run.
Treating knee pain is important as the disease has the potential of paralyzing a great number of people. If the researchers prove to be successful in developing early detection and diagnosis methods, people can avoid osteoarthritis before the disease can have the chance to take its full toll.
(Source: Bristol researchers aim to develop new blood tests to diagnose osteoarthritis, University of Bristol, April 24, 2014)