Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis and Osteoarthritis are two very different types of arthritis, both affecting the musculoskeletal system of the body and also damaging the joints and their functions. We will learn more difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis later.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body itself attacks the synovium, a soft lining around the joints that protect and lubricate joints. This happens when the immune system does not recognize the synovial membrane and mistakenly attacks it by accumulating fluids around the joints causing pain, inflammation and tenderness.difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Osteoarthritis on the other hand is not a disease caused by immune system but a degenerative joint disease and a most common form of arthritis. This form of arthritis is mainly caused due to the damage of cartilage that helps to reduce the friction in your bones by capping the bones in your joints. When this cartilage is damaged, the bones in the joints come in contact with each other which cause pain and inflammation.

Rheumatoid arthritis is mostly suffered by people between 30 – 50 years of age. Children under 17 years also suffer which is more specifically and popularly known as juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis. But with sufficient records of being affected at random age, you may never know when you will be targeted by Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis usually starts in older people above 50 years of age. Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis and it takes years to spread or damage the functions of the body unlike Rheumatoid arthritis which increases rapidly and can be much more dangerous and turn severe.

Rheumatoid arthritis generally affects both small and large joints on both sides of the body with the pain in the areas like joints of wrist and joints of middle finger. Besides, hard lumps arise under the skin of painful joints when the case goes too severe and becomes unbearable. These lump may vary in size and are painful and disrupt normal movement of the body, they are also called Rheumatoid nodules. Also, more joint deformity occurs in Rheumatoid arthritis which eventually leads to joint displacement. Osteoarthritis affects the joints of only one part of the body that includes thumbs, hip joints and knees. Lumps are not seen in case of Osteoarthritis but sometimes small pieces of bones are seen at the edges of the joints.

Difference in symptoms

When it comes to difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis, difference in symptoms also have to be noticed. Difference given by these two forms of arthritis may be similar to some extent but can be differentiated. Rheumatoid arthritis causes painful joints which swell and get stiff. The early symptoms include excessive fatigue, low grade fever, muscle aches and also depression, dryness in eyes and mouth. Thus, not only joints but the whole body is affected during Rheumatoid arthritis. Patients of Rheumatoid arthritis will often have to face morning stiffness that may last for hours.

In case of Osteoarthritis, the joints ache with tenderness and inflammation. Swelling may or may not happen depending on the strength of arthritis. Morning stiffness occurs for a small amount of time in patients of Osteoarthritis, about 20 minutes to an hour.

Gender is not much of a matter of concern about arthritis but research show that women are more likely to suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis than men. Osteoarthritis is common in both men and women. Also, patients of Rheumatoid arthritis are likely to have heart diseases. Osteoarthritis does not have other effects than making the patient less active. Rheumatoid arthritis, being an immune disease, is caused by the hormones from parents to off-springs, smoking and other effects that disturb the function of immune system. Viral and bacterial infections can also be a cause as it destroys the normal function of the immune system. Osteoarthritis does not depend upon these factors but depends upon the lifestyle of people, joint injury, age, obesity, muscle weakness as it is not a disease caused by the immune system.