There are many different types of arthritis – somewhere between 100 and 150 depending on what book you read. By far the most common is osteoarthritis but many people have heard of rheumatoid and worry if they may have it. This is a neat little article and video from Fox 23 News on their Health minute section that clearly compares osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis vs Rheumatoid Arthritis
1. Cause – osteoarthritis is a wearing out of the cartilage while rheumatoid is an auto immune disease where your immune system attacks your own joints.
2. Effects – in rheumatoid arthritis everything in the joint is chronically inflamed while in osteoarthritis only the muscles, ligaments and tendons are inflamed from undue stress caused by the mechanical problems from the cartilage wearing.
3. Treatment – rheumatoid arthritis treating the joint is secondary to treating trying to correct the immune imbalances. Osteoarthritis is treated by treating the symptoms of the disease by improving the stress on the joint and making it function as best it can.
4. Outcome – neither have great outcomes. the only real cure for osteoarthritis is a joint replacement but this is not possible for all joints and some are more successful than others. Rheumatoid arthritis is a self limiting condition and often burns out after many years. Unfortunately the damage to the joints often leads to osteoarthritis so you end up with the rheumatoid gone nut suffering with osteoarthritis instead.
If I had to choose osteoarthritis vs rheumatoid arthritis any time I would definitely say osteoarthritis. But neither would have been good, especially as I was diagnosed with OA in my spine at 28! You can read more about the symptoms of osteoarthritis here but please, if you are unsure what type you have go to your medical practitioner to find out for sure. Don’t try to self diagnose as you decide on the wrong management plan.