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Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid arthritis

A joint disorder that involves damaging of the joint (area of the human body wherein two bones meet), thus inflammation of one or more joints is called arthritis.

A lot of people are confused as to the type of arthritis that they are experiencing. Basically, there are two common types of arthritis that many are experiencing nowadays. These are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  Each type has different symptoms as well as different characteristics for diagnosing and treating it. Many are confused as to what type of arthritis an individual maybe experiencing that is why in this article we shall talk about the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis for you to able to know how to diagnose.

Osteoarthritis should be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis because they basically are different such as their onset, joints affected, and its duration of symptoms as well as the symptoms presented.

Basically, Osteoarthritis occurs with age such as it is also the “wear and tear” kind of arthritis because it is often experienced by individuals after the age of 40 that develops slowly over the years whereas Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins the 25 and 50 years of age that develops suddenly.

The joints affected by osteoarthritis are those that are larger and weight-bearing joints such as the knees, spine, and hip while on the other hand rheumatoid arthritis affects mostly the smaller joints such as the wrists, feet, knuckles, elbows, shoulders and hands.

Symptoms of each type are somewhat similar. Both can be painful and affects the joints. Their only difference is how their symptoms are presented, that is why it can only be distinguish by x-ray and laboratory test.

When talking about their differences when it comes to duration of symptoms osteoarthritis symptoms is brief which means that the stiffness lasts for just a few minutes usually less then 30-60 minutes whereas with rheumatoid arthritis the stiffness are prolonged and often last more than 30 minutes to a few hours, can oftentimes get worst after resting and morning stiffness is common and takes several hours to overcome.

With osteoarthritis, it does not cause a feeling of being sick while rheumatoid arthritis can cause a person to get sick, loss weight, fatigue and malaise. This is due to its way of not only affecting the joints but can also affect the entire body such as the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Treatments are dependent on the exact type of arthritis that is present and proper diagnosis increases one’s chance of having a successful treatment. Treatments for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are also similar. Their goals are to reduce joint inflammation and pain while at the same time improving and maintaining joint function. Treatments include but not limited to physical therapy, Splinting, applying cold application, giving pharmacological treatments such as anti-inflammatory for the pain.

References:

http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/typesofphysicaltherapy/a/RAOA.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/18027.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019

http://www.medicinenet.com/arthritis/article.htm



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