What Is The Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

What Is The Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There are many forms of arthritis but the two most common forms are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although everyone suffers from some sort of joint pain, arthritis can be debilitating. Since these two types of arthritis have similar symptoms, they are often misdiagnosed. In this article, we’ll explore the Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis so you can have the right treatment plan for a better life. 

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Due to the wear and tear of the cartilage in the joints, Osteoarthritis can occur and is most common. This type of arthritis can cause stiffness in the joints and hinder the range of motion and movement in the long term. The most commonly affected areas where Osteoarthritis is prominent are the hands, hips, and knees. However, Osteoarthritis doesn’t have a limit to where it arises in the body and can occur in the spine, neck, and other main areas. 

Due to the fact that Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition, it can typically worsen over time. It’s more prevalent in older adults, individuals who are overweight, or anyone who has a history of joint pain. 

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is more commonly known as RA. It is a chronic Autoimmune Disorder that can cause inflammation in the joints and tissue areas in the body. This type of inflammation can lead to damage that is not limited to the cartilage, bone, and ligaments. However, it can also severely affect the lungs, heart, blood, and vessels. 

Even though the symptoms of arthritis can be similar, they are very different once you get to know which type of arthritis pain you are suffering from. RA symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, and most possibly fatigue as well. Rheumatoid Arthritis pain is most commonly present in women between the ages of 40 to 60. 

Which Is Worse Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Both types of arthritis can be or get worse over the course of time and both types can be hard to deal with – especially if left untreated. All types of arthritis differ from person to person and can cause pain and disability, which can have a severe impact on a person’s quality of life. 

Because Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that gradually develops over time and can cause pain and stiffness in the affected areas, this can lead to mobility problems in the future and become more severe as a person’s age progresses. 

However, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an Autoimmune Disorder leading to inflammation in the joints and all surrounding areas, hindering movement and affecting not only the cartilage but also other major organs such as the lungs, heart, and blood. RA symptoms can become more severe and crippling to those who suffer from osteoarthritis. Hence, it has a negative impact on the overall health and longevity of life.

Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Due to the severity of RA, the diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical signs and symptoms including laboratory tests and studies.

The doctor will examine the joints in which Rheumatoid Arthritis could be present and look out for signs of inflammation which include but are not limited to redness, warmth, and swelling. Stiffness and joint deformity can also occur and be one of the more prominent signs of RA. 

Blood tests are also a form of examination to help confirm the presence of Rheumatoid Arthritis and rule out other forms of arthritis which can also mimic the signs of RA. Other examination tests include ultrasounds, X-rays, and MRIs.

Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis 

Diagnosing Osteoarthritis is typically done by a doctor based on patient history, tests, and imaging studies. During the physical examination of the affected joints, the doctors will look out for stiffness, joint pain, creaking sounds, and limited movement. However, family history is also taken into consideration.

It is also important to note that Osteoarthritis (OA) can be mistaken for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Because both arthritis signs and symptoms overlap. In order to make sure that the diagnosis is accurate, a combination of clinical examination as well as imaging, studies, and patient history is taken into account for a thorough prognosis.

How To Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Managing both forms of arthritis is always a challenge due to the condition, severity, and how chronic the condition may be. However, with proper treatment, care, and management, reducing the symptoms and flare-ups can eventually help with function, maintaining a well-balanced life, and improving range of motion and life expectancy.

There are several forms of medications available – such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – that can reduce pain and inflammation and help with range of motion. Physical therapy is also often recommended and needed to increase flexibility, movement, and blood flow. 

To manage arthritis, you need to work with a healthcare provider and have proper nutrition and weight management as most of the time, weight increase can lead to joint and muscular pain. Every person’s arthritis is different, hence, making sure that each plan is followed as per individual needs and guidelines. A specialized plan will help to meet the need, and goals and have exceptional and long-lasting results.

Final Words

In conclusion, Rheumatoid (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA) are both chronic forms of arthritis that affect the relative joints and areas and can mimic and overlap in signs and symptoms leading to misdiagnosis. At Fit Clinic, we are best known for analyzing risk factors for diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis, and providing physical therapy to help people manage such medical conditions.

Leave a reply