a trial in Leeds to help sufferers of osteoarthritis has been extended thanks to funding from a national charity.
Professor Philip Conaghan is running the study to test the effectiveness of a drug called methotrexate in relieving the pain caused by osteoarthritis in the knee.
It follows a pilot study which showed that 37 per cent of patients who took methotrexate had a 40 per cent reduction in their pain.
Participant Susan Dawson said: “It took about three months before I noticed any difference.
“But then the swelling started to go down and the pain became a lot better.”
The 57-year-old, from Liversedge, started to suffer from osteoarthritis five years ago but medication and injections failed to help.
“The swelling in my knees was terrible and I was in agony,” she said.
In the end she was forced to take time off from her job as a school’s learning mentor and lunchtime manager.
She was offered methotrexate, already used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, through the pilot.
That was successful and Susan is no longer taking the drug.
Now Prof Conaghan, from the Leeds Institute of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine based at Chapel Allerton Hospital, has been given funding from Arthritis Research UK to extend the trial.
“People with osteoarthritis often live with severe pain and have significant difficulty in carrying out their normal day-to-day activities. There is therefore an urgent need to find new and better ways of managing their pain,” he said.