Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

In India, millions of people suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While osteoarthritis has a figure that exceeds 60 million, the latter also has a number near the 12-13 million mark. Both are forms of arthritis and have more or less similar symptoms. But it is crucial to understand the difference between both. So, let’s look at the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, the primary cause of which is aging. But in addition, factors like obesity can also cause osteoarthritis. Obesity stresses and strains the joints. The extra fat tissue produces proteins, which can foster a harmful inflammatory response in your joints.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the joint capsule’s lining. It causes inflammation and thickens the lining of the membranes surrounding a joint. The membrane’s thickening can destroy the bone cartilage. In addition, joints can even deform over time.

Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

In the case of osteoarthritis, the main issues include the following.

  • Swollen joints
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Malfunctioning joints
  • Cracking or grinding during joint movements

On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to the following symptoms.

  • Morning stiffness that lasts an hour or so.
  • Low fever
  • Fatigue
  • Growth of rheumatoid nodules (lumps) under the skin
  • Low appetite

Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis – Common Joints Affected

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint. However, it affects joints that have repetitive use like knees, thumbs, back, neck, etc. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect joints throughout the body. But it is more common in small joints of the feet and hands. In some cases, it also affects elbows, knees, shoulders, and ankles.

Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis – Medication

The following are the generic medications for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. For a specific treatment and medication, you must consult a doctor.

Osteoarthritis Medication

  • NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Joint injections
  • Acetaminophen
  • Pain-reliever gels or rub-on creams

Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Acetaminophen that reduces pain but not inflammation
  • NSAIDs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-modifying drugs that reduce the pace of the disease’s progression

Are you experiencing symptoms similar to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? Connect with Ranka Hospital. Our doctors will diagnose your case thoroughly and decide the right course of treatment. Call +91 20 2426 1600 for appointments.

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