Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease which affects the joints causing the breakdown of joint cartilage. Cartilage shedding is a condition that is very painful. Rheumatoid arthritis on the other hand is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. In rheumatoid arthritis the body’s white blood cells start to attack the lining of the joint (the synovium) thus causing degradations of the joints. Osteoarthritis usually involves one joint while rheumatoid arthritis normally attacks multiple joints as well as some organs.
Osteoarthritis is normally caused by the body’s aging process. Osteoarthritis can also be caused by physical joint injury, obesity and genetics. It is possible to get osteoarthritis due to inherited parental genes.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes are not clear.
Doctors have failed to point out a specific cause of rheumatoid arthritis and thus have developed several theories. A common theory is that there is a genetic related event that triggers the onset of this disease.
How osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are diagnosed
Bothcan be detected through x-rays. X-rays of affected joints can show the damage caused by these diseases. Analysis of joint fluid from damaged joints can help determine which kind of arthritis it is. Blood tests can also be used to verify if it is not rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can be detected through the following tests; rheumatoid factor, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and anti-CCP test.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
The most common symptom for osteoarthritis is pain in the joints. Joint pain increases with increased activity. Affected joints can swell and become stiff after a rest period. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include joint pains, joint, redness near the joints as well as restricted joint movement.morning stiffness of joints which can last for several hours. This kind of arthritis involves all bones including the small bones of the hands and feet. Sufferers may also experience extreme fatigue and rheumatoid nodules may appear. Rheumatoid arthritis may not only affect the bones but it can also affect lungs, kidneys and the heart.
Treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is mainly treated by medication. Medication used in treating rheumatoid arthritis can be placed into 5 different categories;
- Biologics, 2. Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, 3. Corticosteroids, 4. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and 5. Analgesics.
Other treatments may involve use of steroid injections to relieve pain for rheumatoid arthritis. Surgery is usually the last option when it comes to treating rheumatoid arthritis. Common surgical procedures to treat rheumatoid arthritis involve fusion and joint replacement.
Just like any other disease early detection of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can help control the disease before it has advanced. When arthritis is ignored and damage to joints has reached an advanced stage treatment using drugs may not offer any relief. If the condition is critical doctors may opt for drastic measures which include surgical fusion of joint ligaments or joint transplantation. If you have been experiencing joint pains its always wise to consult a doctor so you can be tested to check if it is not arthritis.
This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!