Difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
Both Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis are the most common forms of arthritis found today. While they result in pain and stiffness in the joints, the causes and treatment for both can be different.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition causing inflammation that leads to pain and stiffness in the joint. Apart from these, other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include swelling, fatigue, weight loss, poor appetite, loss of function and redness in the affected joints, fever and anaemia.Unlike other types of arthritis, it affects both accompanying joints in the body.
Osteoarthritis (OA)refers to a condition that effects all major joints of the body. This happens when the cartilage cushioning in the joints breaks down due to daily wear and tear. This commonly occurs in isolated joints of the knee and hip.
Here are the vital differences between the two –
- While OA is a degenerative condition, RA is an auto-immune condition
- OA commonly affects older people, while RA can occur at any age
- RA is hereditary, which means that family history of the disease, increases one’s risk of being affected by the condition. Common risk factors for OA are co-morbidities like obesity and diabetes.
- A systemic disease, RA can affect organs like lungs, heart and eyes apart from joints, unlike OA.
- Both OA and RA tend to have common symptoms like pain, stiffness and swelling; RA also presents one with additional symptoms like fever, fatigue, loss of appetite/ weight-loss.
Despite these differences, they can be managed with common drugs like NSAIDs or steroids and physical therapy. Being chronic conditions they both require lifestyle changes like a healthy body-weight and a balanced diet to slow down the progression of symptoms.