The umbrella term “arthritis” refers to inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), for example, are two separate types of arthritis. If you’re confused, here is a guide to understanding the differences between osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis!
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis
RA is an autoimmune disease where your body starts to attack itself. If you have RA, your body perceives the soft lining surrounding your joints as a threat and attacks it, much like a virus or bacteria.
Fluid, which is produced by the inflammatory tissue, accumulates within your joint as a result of this attack. Fluid build-up and swelling can also lead to decreased joint flexibility, pain, inflammation around the joints, and stiffness.
The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis (OA), which is predominantly a degenerative joint condition. The cartilage that protects a person’s joints breaks down when they have OA. The wear and tear of cartilage force the bones to rub together. This causes discomfort by exposing tiny nerves. Although OA does not entail an autoimmune process like RA, it does cause moderate inflammation.
Women are more likely than males to get both types of arthritis. Although RA and OA are more common among our elderly loved ones, RA can strike anyone at any age.
RA is a disease that can be carried genetically. If your parent, child, or sibling has the condition, you have a higher chance of having it. However, for OA, you’re more likely to develop the condition if you’re obese, have joint deformities, diabetes, gout, or ever experienced severe injuries to your joints.
Characteristics of RA
Each type of arthritis has its own set of signs and symptoms. RA is a systemic disease, meaning it can affect your whole body, not just your joints, including your lungs, heart, and eyes. It commonly starts with smaller joints. The finger joints are likely to be painful, stiff, and swollen. Larger joints, such as the knees, shoulders, and ankles, can develop problems as RA advances. As it’s an asymmetrical disease, you’ll experience symptoms on both sides of the body simultaneously.
The following are some of the early indications of RA:
- Low-grade fever, particularly in children
- Hard lumps beneath the skin near joints may appear in people with severe RA. Rheumatoid nodules are lumps that can be tender.
Characteristics of OA
Systemic symptoms are uncommon in people who have OA. Only the joints are affected by OA’s degenerative nature. You might get lumps under your skin around your joints, but these aren’t rheumatoid nodules. Bone spurs, or excessive bone growth along the margins of the afflicted joints, are common in people with OA.
As OA is asymmetrical, you may feel discomfort in both your right and left knees, but one side or joint is more painful. OA, which is similar to RA, usually affects the fingers and hands. It also commonly affects the hips and spine, in addition to the knees.
Enjoy Exceptional Senior Living at Morada Temple
As a resident at Morada Temple, you will get to enjoy a hassle-free and convenient lifestyle with the help of our dedicated team and high-quality amenities! You can choose from our multiple senior living options where you can enjoy living independently or with the help of a skilled nurse. For more information, contact us today!