Rheumatoid arthritis vs. osteoarthritis: What’s the difference?

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis both campaign joint pain and stiffness. They are both forms of arthritis but have different causes and treatments. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and relate diseases. Two of the most common types are arthritic arthritis ( RA ) and osteoarthritis ( OA ). OA is more common than RA. Both involve excitement in the joints, but RA causes much more excitement. Until recently, experts believed that inflammation was not a sport of OA, and researchers are still investigating the role that it plays in the illness — whether it is a cause or a result of the condition.

OA and RA partake some symptoms, but RA can affect multiple joints, and it tends to develop symmetrically, on both sides of the body. OA normally affects a few joints, and it typically alone develops on one side. besides, RA involves systemic inflammation and can cause a fever and other flu-like symptoms. The symptoms of OA tend to be limited to the involve joint or joints. Below, we explore the similarities and differences between RA and OA in more detail, looking at their symptoms, causes, and treatments.


partake on PinterestOliver Rossi/Getty Images Joints contain protective tissues that prevent the bones from scraping against one another. For example, cartilage sits over the bones to facilitate smooth apparent motion in the joint.

Arthritis damages this protective tissue. But in RA and OA, the causes of roast damage are different. RA is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when a person ’ sulfur immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues in the joints. In the process, it releases enzymes that destroy the linings of the joints, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness. other symptoms can besides develop throughout the body. OA involves the protective cartilage gradually wearing down, causing the bones to rub together. This break and bust can result from insistent movements, such as in sports, that place pressure on the joints. Bony growths called bone spur develop on the joints, which become stiff, atrocious, and harder to move. The risks of developing OA and RA increase with senesce, although either condition can occur at any age. What is the difference between arthritic arthritis and gout ?

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RA and OA can cause some of the lapp symptoms, including :

  • joint pain
  • stiffness in joints
  • swelling, which is more severe in RA
  • restricted mobility in affected joints

Symptoms of both conditions tend to be worse in the dawn. Both can cause severity in the morning or after resting, excessively. however, in a person with OA, the stiffness normally improves within 30 minutes. In person with RA, it normally lasts longer. RA symptoms may develop and worsen cursorily, sometimes within a few weeks. OA symptoms rise more slowly, as the protective tissues in the joints gradually wear down. however, certain activities can cause a sudden worsen of OA symptoms. For exemplar, going for a rise may cause sudden, severe swelling in the stifle. Both conditions can affect many different joints in the body. OA is most likely to develop in the knees and the humble finger and finger joints. RA much develops in the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, feet, and hips, and it normally occurs in the lapp joints on both sides of the body. OA, meanwhile, frequently only develops on one side. overall, OA is localized — it entirely affects the joint and its surrounding tissues. People with the stipulate may develop bone spur or other bone abnormalities, however. For example, OA in the hands often causes little lumps to develop around the ends of the finger joints.

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RA normally affects multiple joints, causing affection, swelling, and severity. besides, nodules can develop around the affect joints. RA is systemic, preferably than localized, so it can besides cause :

  • fatigue
  • a fever
  • weight loss
  • inflammation beyond the joints, such as in the eyes and lungs


A doctor who suspects that a person has RA or OA performs a forcible examination, takes a aesculapian history, and does versatile diagnostic tests. Diagnosing these conditions can be challenging because the symptoms often overlap, particularly in the early stages. blood tests for RA can help confirm or rule out the diagnosis. These tests look for unlike biomarkers in the blood, such as cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody and arthritic divisor. A doctor may besides check levels of the C-reactive protein antibody, a marker that indicates excitement. In addition, a doctor of the church may order X-rays, MRI scans, ultrasound scans, or a combination to determine the extent and location of damage from RA or OA.


RA and OA are chronic conditions, which means that they do not go aside. There is presently no cure, but treatments can help a person manage their symptoms, improve their quality of life, and slow the progress of the condition. treatment may involve using medications such as nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ) to reduce ignition. This can help alleviate pain and stiffness and improve the range of motion. Doctors may besides recommend steroid-based medications to reduce inflammation. For example, they may inject steroids directly into the involve joints when it is important to reduce ignition immediately. To treat RA, the American College of Rheumatology recommends using disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs ( DMARDs ), much aboard NSAIDs or steroids and biological medications. DMARDs purpose to suppress the immune system and reduce its damage to tissues in the joints. The treatment plans for RA and OA besides much involve physical therapy. This helps improve mobility and keep the joints flexible. Having a healthy diet and sticking to an appropriate exert design can besides help. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent surfeit blackmail on the joints. Quitting fume and avoiding secondhand smoke are besides a commodity idea, peculiarly for people with RA. Which foods are dependable for people with arthritis ?

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RA and OA are chronic conditions that cause pain and awkwardness in the joints. Both can worsen over time without allow treatment. The effects of OA and RA on a person ’ south day by day life can range from balmy to severe.

The two conditions can cause like symptoms, but they have different causes and treatments. OA normally affects fewer joints, and its symptoms are generally limited to the joints. The progress of RA is more difficult to predict, and it can cause more widespread symptoms. The expectation for people with RA has greatly improved due to advances in research and therapies. Doctors can normally prevent or slow the progression of the disease with effective treatment .

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