Friday, August 31, 2007

Osteoarthritis Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability

Arthritis is often cited on applications for social security disability and SSI and though this often refers to rheumatoid arthritis, in most cases the allegation usually refers to osteoarthritis.

The following paragraphs provide information about osteoarthritis. For more information on social security disability or SSI benefits, you may wish to follow the link above that leads to Disability or, if you are seeking representation, you may wish to scroll to the bottom of this post and submit a free evaluation form.

Twenty one million Americans suffer with osteoarthritis, in fact osteoarthritis accounts for about twenty five percent of all visits to family physicians across the country.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory degenerative disease that affects knees, spine, hands, feet, hips and knees, and is the most common form of arthritis. Although osteoarthritis is usually the result of joint usage and aging, nearly sixty percent of cases are the result of genetic factors. What do I mean the when I say “genetic factors”? About sixty percent of all patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis have or have had family members with the disease.

What causes osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis is caused by loss of cartilage between the joints, which may be the result of aging, injury, wear and tear, joint malformations, Lyme disease, and other arthritic diseases. Consequently, joint bones rub together causing inflammation, pain, and the formation of bone spurs.

Individuals who suffer from osteoarthritis have chronic joint pain, stiffness, muscles spasms (in the tendons surrounding the joint), and crepitus (joint cracking).

Osteoarthritis damage is irreversible; therefore treatment options are generally limited to reducing inflammation and pain in an effort to improve joint mobility. Physicians use a variety of medications including corticosteroids, NSAIDS, acetaminophen, and narcotics (usually opioids such as oxycontin, hydrocodone, or morphine).

Additionally, some supplements have proven useful in treating osteoarthritis such as glucosamine and chondroitin.

However if all conservative methods of treatment fail to relieve pain and inflammation, some individuals may have to have joint replacement surgery to restore mobility.

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