Are Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis The Same Thing?

People always hear about arthritis. It's a very common problem, and most people will probably have some issues with it at some point in their lives. Arthritis can show up in just about any joint in the body as well as anywhere that a bone has suffered trauma. For example, a leg that has been broken is more prone to arthritis than an unbroken bone. The arthritis will show up at the spot where the break was. But while you might know a lot about arthritis, you might not realize that there are different kinds of arthritis. This article will talk about the difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. 


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder. That means that the affected joints or other areas are degenerating. The joints have special kinds of cartilage and fluids in them to help protect the bones in the joints from rubbing together. The cartilage starts disintegrating, the bones start rubbing against each other, and the bones start to break down. It can be a very painful process. Unlike other kinds of arthritis, it's not an inflammatory disease. 

There are actually several causes behind osteoarthritis. They can include trauma to the bone or joint. It can also be somewhat hereditary. Looking at your parents and grandparents can help give you an idea of what your fate is. One thing that doesn't cause arthritis is cracking your knuckles or other joints. 

There are a number of treatments for arthritis. They can include OTC drugs like ibuprofen, as well as prescription medication. In extreme cases, surgery can be very helpful to relieve some of the problems. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease. Inflammation doesn't necessarily mean just swelling, although that is one of the signs. It is really the way that your body reacts to something that hurts it. Inflammation can be very helpful to the body because it's one way that your body heals after an injury. However, when inflammation gets out of control, you get things like rheumatoid arthritis. 

While RA affects the joints the most, it can also affect just about any part of the body, including the lungs and eyes. When it is in the joints, rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe deformation of the joints, leading to the joints becoming completely non-functional. 

There are several theories as to what causes RA. It isn't as understood as well as other forms of arthritis, so no one is precisely sure what the cause is. There are a number of treatments, including strong medication that is given every few months. 

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis may both fall under the same broad category, but they do have some significant difference. If you need more information about diagnosing and treating arthritis, contact a local clinic like Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates of South Jersey.