Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the main types of arthritis affecting many people. These two types have great differences when it comes to causes and symptoms. It is always good to know the differences between the two. This will help you identify what type has affected a patient and the kind of medication to seek. The first difference between the two is that rheumatoid is a chronic disease that is known to cause deformity in many people while osteoarthritis is known to be the most form of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is caused by damage of joint cartilage which in turn causes wear and tear of the joints. When the joint cartilage is damaged, the joint bones rub against one another resulting in a very severe pain. Osteoarthritis starts by affecting a single joint and the damage may spread to other joints. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that is as a result of the body immune cells attacking body’s cell. The result of this is inflammation of the joints causing lots of pain and affecting joint motion. Rheumatoid arthritis can start by affecting several joints at a go unlike osteoarthritis.
The other main difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is that the latter is mostly associated with old age while the previous is age non-sensitive. During old age, the joint cartilage water increases while the protein level goes down, as a result the patient becomes susceptible to osteoarthritis. It can also be due to genetic inheritance, joint injury, heavy weight or excessive use of the joints, all these factors are known to cause osteoarthritis. In the other hand the main causes of rheumatoid arthritis are not yet known though there are some medical researchers who relate it to genetic inheritance.
You can also distinguish between rheumatoid arthritis from osteoarthritis by their symptom. Rheumatoid arthritis is known to cause joint pain and swelling, the joint becomes very stiff, red and very warm, there is also reduced joint movement. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect joints in a systematic manner. It affects both the small joints of the hands and feet and can as well affect other body joints. A patient suffering from rheumatoid arthritis experiences fatigue, the lungs, eyes and kidneys of the patient can also be affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
The symptoms of osteoarthritis include joint stiffness and pain after a herd work involving the joint or in the morning and the pain can last for a few hours, the joint pain can be more sever during the day. Osteoarthritis is also known to reduce joint movement, to cause swelling to the affected joint and the joint might also become very hot. Failure to do anything might worsen the condition of joints affected by osteoarthritis by developing bony enlargements.
To diagnose either of the arthritis, the doctor needs to do an x-ray. X-ray pictures will show some similarities between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis affected joints. In order to be sure which type of arthritis is present in the patient’s body, a joint fluid analysis is carried out. The reason why joint fluid analysis is important is because osteoarthritis cannot be diagnosed using blood test. After diagnosing osteoarthritis, the doctor will concentrate in reducing the pain and can also advice the patient in taking joint exercises in order to restore their strength. If rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed, the doctor will give the patient some prescriptions. However, both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can end up with the patient undertaking surgery in order to restore the affected joints.