Difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

An autoimmune disease that affects and inflames the joints by attacking them, rheumatoid arthritis can permanently disfigure an individual if treatment is not sought quickly and early.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

When an individual has rheumatoid arthritis the healthy cells in the joints of an individual being attacked by the body, which causes swelling and significant pain.

Obviously, as soon as an individual feels stiffness or pain in their joints they should immediately seek treatment in case they have rheumatoid arthritis.

Generally, rheumatoid arthritis will start in the small joints, like the hands or feet. If you feel stiffness or achenes in these areas when you wake up in the morning or after resting, then you should see your doctor in case rheumatoid arthritis is the cause.

Your doctor will probably order X-rays to eliminate any other diseases besides rheumatoid arthritis that might be causing the aches and pains in your joints because X-rays cannot diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, simply eliminate other possible diseases and create a baseline for the progression of the disease.

Also Read: Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Fingers

If the X-rays come back clear, your doctor will want to perform the Latex test, which detects the rheumatoid factor in the blood, which helps determine if you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Of course, this antibody is not always found in the blood when rheumatoid arthritis is in its early stages, however as the disease progresses the majority of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers do have a positive result for the rheumatoid factor.



Osteoarthritis can start at any time, from as early as the teen years to as late as middle age or beyond. It is the most prevalent arthritis types.


Osteoarthritis is frequently called wear and tear arthritis, and after it starts it only gets worse as the body experiences more wear and tear.

However, not everyone’s joints wear the same, and some people who work physically demanding jobs which stress the joints never get Osteoarthritis while other people, whose joints are not stressed at all, do.

It comes down to an individual’s body, their joints, and predisposition to Osteoarthritis. You may frequently hear this condition called Osteoarthrosis as well as Osteoarthritis.

They mean basically, the same thing, except Osteoarthritis refers to inflamed joints while Osteoarthrosis simply refers to degeneration of joints.

Osteoarthritis can be painful, but it is not the same diagnosis as rheumatoid arthritis so there is no need to be quite as concerned about disfigurement especially since Osteoarthritis can begin very early in life, even as young as your teens or twenties.

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, so if you start feeling pain in your joints, experience a lack of motion, or you hear your joints cracking then you may have Osteoarthritis.

While Osteoarthritis generally affects one’s hips and knees, it can affect any joint so you should be aware of this. Also, while Osteoarthritis can become quite painful, generally the symptoms come and go.

There is no specific cause attributed to Osteoarthritis other than the wear and tear of life, and some people’s predisposition to the disease.

If you start having problems with Osteoarthritis early in life then you should take care to avoid high impact sports, or adding additional wear and tear to your joints.

However, treatment for Osteoarthritis includes staying active, so low-impact activities like swimming are great choices. For pain and inflammation anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil are generally prescribed.

If you begin experiencing pain in your joints, make a doctor’s appointment to see if you have osteoarthritis.

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