Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Difference Between Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis have a lot in common. However, they do present different symptoms and treatment.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease caused by breakdown of the discs in the joints which causes inflammation and pain. It is mostly seen in the hips, knees, and spine.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects multiple organs including the joints, skin, heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, spleen and central nervous system (CNS). It is diagnosed through blood tests or other diagnostic imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI scans to find out if it has affected other areas of your body such as your lungs or liver.

What is Osteoarthritis and how does it affect joints?

Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the joints and can cause pain, stiffness, and loss of motion. It is caused by inflammation of the joint cartilage.

Osteoarthritis affects one in four adults in America. It can be seen as a progressive disease that can lead to disabilities such as walking difficulties, pain during physical activity and severe loss of use of the affected joints.

The symptoms may vary from person to person depending on how much their joint pain impacts their life and exercise routine.

How Osteoarthritis Impacts Physical Functioning and Quality of Life

Osteoarthritis can be caused by injury, genetics, or aging. OA impacts people’s ability to function in daily activities and quality of life.

Osteoarthritis has an impact on physical functioning and quality of life. Common symptoms include pain and swelling, impaired joint movement, decreased muscle strength, stiffness in joints, changes in gait and balance, discomfort when moving about the environment, fatigue or morning stiffness.

Osteoarthritis Treatment

Treatment for osteoarthritis includes pain management, physical therapy, devices and medications. There is no treatment that will completely reverse the disease but it can help to relieve symptoms and reduce pain levels.

Osteoarthritis Treatment – Low-impact exercises are a common treatment method for this condition; however there is no treatment that will completely reverse it but it can help to relieve some symptoms and reduce pain levels.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease that causes the joints to become fragile and painful. It can affect any joint in the body but typically affects the joints of wrists, fingers, feet, ankles and knees. The disease also affects many other organs such as eyes, heart and lungs.

Rheumatoid arthritis usually develops slowly but can progress rapidly when untreated. It affects 2-3% of the world’s population making it one of the most common autoimmune diseases in adults. Other diseases associated with rheumatoid arthritis include lupus erythematosus, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), psoriatic arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

The causes of RA are unknown but there are some risk factors like advanced age, smoking, diabetes and certain types of infections.

The symptoms of RA vary from person to person. Some may have the following symptoms:

  • pain in the joints
  • swelling
  • a feeling that your joints don’t move easily in any direction
  • fatigue
  • morning stiffness
  • morning fever
  • night stiffness

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune condition. It’s an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation in the joints which leads to pain and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to deformity and loss of joint function. It has three different forms namely;

  1. Acute Rheumatic Fever
  2. Chronic Rheumatic Disease
  3. Unstable or Rapidly Progressive Joint Disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

This disease can be exacerbated by stress and environmental factors like UV rays or infections leading to pain and swelling. RA treatment options are extensive but vary depending on severity of symptoms of each individual patient.

There are a lot of treatments that can help with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. These include medications like NSAIDs or corticosteroids. The treatment also includes changes in lifestyle such as lowering stress levels and getting more rest.

The best-known treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is methotrexate which has been available since 1960. It works by decreasing inflammation and swelling in the joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles of people with rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate can be taken orally or injected into the body as it enters its blood stream where it binds to proteins called folate receptors on the surface of cells.

Please call Superior Compounding Pharmacy to speak with one of our licensed pharmacists today at 734-404-6065. We can help answer any medication questions that you may have.