Two prevalent kinds of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. They are quite distinct disorders, but both result in discomfort and damage to the joints, making it difficult or uncomfortable for one to partake in physical activities and exercise.
An autoimmune condition, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system does not function properly. When you are in good health, your immune system fights against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria. Your immune system attacks your joints when you have rheumatoid arthritis because it “sees” them as adversaries.
On the other hand, osteoarthritis is not an autoimmune condition. You get it when the cartilage (spongy tissue) between your joints deteriorates, which frequently happens as a result of normal wear and strain. The bones on either side of the cartilage begin to alter and hurt as a result.
These could be the key distinctions between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. However, there are several other reasons that can assist medical professionals in determining which sorts you have and how to treat them.
The following article elaborates on the differences between rheumatoid arthritis vs osteoarthritis.
In the condition known as rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system accidentally targets healthy tissue, leading to inflammation that wears down your joints. Although no one cause of rheumatoid arthritis has been identified, current thinking indicates that certain people are genetically susceptible to the condition.
However, osteoarthritis is not an autoimmune condition. It is a wear-and-tear condition brought on by aging or injury. Immune function is unaffected. Joint injury, repeated usage, being overweight, and hereditary susceptibility are all common causes of osteoarthritis.
Signs and Symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis typically results in pain or stiffness that lasts longer than 30 minutes in the morning or after a lengthy period of inactivity and rest. Osteoarthritis stiffness usually becomes worse as the day wears on.
While osteoarthritis is linked to asymmetrical (not “matching”) swelling in single joints that are not a pair, such as one knee and an elbow instead of both knees, rheumatoid arthritis is linked to symmetrical swelling, such as both hands, both elbows, for instance.
Most frequently, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include reduced range of motion, morning stiffness that lasts all day, and joint pain, swelling, tenderness, and redness. Additionally, some patients deal with fever, weight loss, exhaustion, and/or anemia. Joint stiffness, pain, and joint enlargement are the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis; systemic symptoms are rare.
While osteoarthritis causes discomfort and swelling in larger joints like the hips and knees, rheumatoid arthritis often affects smaller joints like the hands and ankles.
Location of Joints Involved
Inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the joints closest to your hands, more specifically those at the base of your fingers, and the knuckles. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, typically causes inflammation at the joint closest to your fingernail.
Most Common Joints Affected
Although osteoarthritis may affect any joint, it frequently occurs in those that have been damaged or repeatedly used. Consider your thumbs, big toes, back, neck, knees, and hips.
Joint issues might develop throughout your body as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. The condition is most prevalent in your hands’ and feet’s tiny joints. It also affects the ankles, knees, shoulders, and elbows. rheumatoid arthritis often leaves your back alone, in contrast to osteoarthritis.