Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis

What Are The Main Differences Between Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis?

We’ve all heard of arthritis, but most of us are not aware that there are more than 100 arthritic conditions.

The two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They both affect the joints and bones, but are actually very different diseases in terms of causes and effective treatments.

Around 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis (OA). It is the most common form of arthritis and usually appears in both men and women over the age of 45. By contrast, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has around 2 million suffers, around 90% of whom are women.

Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the joints as we age, and through injury. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder. This means that the body starts to attack itself. Researchers are not sure why this is the case, but the results are very obvious.

The body attacks the synovium, the lining of the joints and causes pain and swelling. As the synovium swell, they damage, muscles ligaments and eventually even the bones themselves, causing severe deformity.

If you have ever seen anyone with gnarled hands and bent looking fingers, they are probably suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis tends to affect the major joints in the body, such as knees and hips, and the spine. RA tends to affect ankles and feet, and wrists and hands.

Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

With osteoarthritis, it is important to maintain flexibility in your joints and mobility in order to maintain a good quality of life. With rheumatoid arthritis exercise, is an important part of avoiding the disease doing severe damage to the body.

There are some ways it might be possible to prevent Osteoarthritis. These include protecting your joints from injury and maintain good muscle tone and healthy collagen, which is an important building block of cartilage in your joints, but which diminishes as we age.

With rheumatoid arthritis, there is no known way to prevent it at this time, but avoiding toxins and inflammation, that is, irritation due to stress, the foods you eat, and/or your environment, might help.

If you think you have either of these forms of arthritis, consult your doctor. They will recommend lab tests to identify the type of rheumatic disease you have, and set you on the path to the best treatment for your particular condition.


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