If you’re looking for answers to the question, “What’s the difference between
rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis?” you’ve come to the right place. Both RA and
OA are arthritic conditions. Learn more about the symptoms, treatment, and causes of
RA is an inflammatory disease
RA is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints in the body. Inflamed joints have
increased pain and stiffness. These symptoms can spread to other parts of the body.
The inflammatory process can damage the joints permanently, making it impossible to
repair them without surgery. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to help
people with RA live a normal life. However, the disease can be extremely frustrating
for those who suffer from it.
Because it affects several organs and can increase the risk of infections, RA is linked
to a greater risk of heart problems than other inflammatory diseases. Severe disease
activity and early menopause may increase your risk of heart problems. While it’s
difficult to determine the exact cause of heart disease in individuals with RA, hearthealthy lifestyles and regular exercise may lower your risk of developing heart
OA is an arthritic condition
While OA can affect any joint, it most commonly impacts the knees, hips, hands, neck,
and lower back. Both of the knees can be affected, though the disease isn’t
necessarily inherited. People with OA commonly experience pain when walking or
standing up. If the joint is affected in the hip, pain may extend to the buttocks and
thighs. Treatment for osteoarthritis varies, depending on the severity and location of
The disease tends to affect the knee, hips, and base of the thumbs. If non-negotiable
treatments do not provide relief, surgeons may recommend surgery to replace the
affected joint. The procedure, called total joint replacement, involves the removal of
the damaged joint and replacement with a plastic or metal artificial joint. Knee
replacement surgery may also involve the use of plastic or metal implants. Knee
replacement surgery is often recommended if other forms of treatment have failed.
Osteoarthritis and inflammation symptoms may vary from person to person but are
typically consistent with the condition. Joint stiffness can occur without any apparent
cause and can be restricted by physical activity. A soft, grating noise may occur when
the joint is touched. A visit to a physiotherapist can help determine whether you need
a brace or splint.
While symptoms of osteoarthritis are typically a lifelong condition, they may be the
early signs of other joint conditions. Although X-rays are not required, blood tests can
help rule out other conditions. While osteoarthritis generally worsens over time,
symptoms can improve over time. Medications and an exercise program can help ease
the pain and discomfort. Osteoarthritis treatment can include anti-inflammatory
medication and physical therapy.
Drugs for osteoarthritis are available over-the-counter and can help relieve some of
the symptoms of the condition. While they won’t cure the disease, anti-inflammatory
drugs, NSAIDs, can ease symptoms. You can buy ibuprofen, diclofenac, and
ketoprofen over-the-counter or on prescription. If you suffer from severe joint crystal
pain, however, steroid injections can help ease symptoms.
Early-stage disease patients typically experience localized pain in their joints that gets
worse with activity and improves with rest. Later in the disease, pain in the joint may
persist during rest, and the weight-bearing joints can even lock. These symptoms may
also result from internal derangement. Symptoms in the jaw are generally more severe
than in other joints. Osteoarthritis in the jaw is common, and the cartilage of the jaw is
particularly prone to wear and tear.
A doctor can treat the pain, swelling, and stiffness that accompany osteoarthritis. A
proper diagnosis is important to avoid further damage. Osteoarthritis is a painful and
debilitating condition. Osteoarthritis is often associated with a past injury, excessive
stress, or cartilage disorder. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that can be
painful and can result in loss of mobility.
People with rheumatoid arthritis should consult a healthcare provider if they are
experiencing joint pain. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but the doctor can
help you identify triggers, such as infection, smoking, and physical stress. Although
the disease is incurable, there are several treatment options to help you manage the
symptoms. Various studies have shown that RA is hereditary. People who share the
HLA (human leukocyte antigen) gene are about five times more likely to develop RA
than those who do not have it. Some scientists believe that female hormones play a
role in the development of the disease. Thus, women are more susceptible to RA than
men. This could also contribute to the symptoms women experience.