Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis difference

Confused about the differences between arthritis and osteoarthritis? Here’s how to understand the difference, plus tips for arthritis treatment osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis difference prevention.

Jan 16, 2012, 8:35 a. Are you experiencing pain or stiffness in your joints? You may have a form of arthritis, a medical condition characterized by the swelling and inflammation of the joints. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, although arthritis also encompasses other conditions including lupus, fibromyalgia and gout. United States have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Today, the CDC considers arthritis to be a growing public health concern. Although arthritis is commonly thought of as an age-related condition, nearly two-thirds of individuals affected with arthritis are younger than age 65.

Arthritis is also the most common cause of disability, with nearly 21 million Americans reporting activity limitations due to arthritis. How is osteoarthritis different from arthritis? Arthritis is a general medical term for any chronic condition that causes damage to the cartilage and joints. With osteoarthritis, joint damage is caused by natural wear and tear over time. With rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s own immune system attacks the joints, leading to swelling, pain and the eventual destruction of cartilage at the joint. Unlike «wear and tear» osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the interior lining of the joints.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Know as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, this condition occurs when the protective cartilage covering the ends of the bones wears down over time. While treatments can slow the progression of this chronic condition and relieve pain, there is no cure. How can I reduce my risk for arthritis? Like many chronic conditions, the risk for both arthritis and osteoarthritis increase with weight gain.