Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are both similar in that they are inflammations in the joints in the body which deteriorate with time and cause excruciating pain. The two forms differ in where the disorder occurs and how it affects the individual.
Osteoarthritis causes the deterioration and complete wearing off of the cartilage in the joints and restrains growth of the bones. This occurs in specific body joints like fingers, knees, or hands. This is a common disorder and occurs in both men and women 40 years and above. The causes can be attributed to reasons like excessive strain on the joint or by repeatedly using the joints in different activities. Some symptoms associated with this condition are swelling in joints, pain, inflexibility or bone spurs.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial membrane around the cartilage gets inflamed and this destroys the cartilage. This occurs in almost all parts of the body, affects the organs and the immunity of the body functions unsatisfactorily. This condition affects people of any age category but mostly occurs in women. This condition is uncommon and is more severe as compared to osteoarthritis. Along with symptoms similar to osteoarthritis, other symptoms are fatigue, loss of weight, fever, occasional flare-ups, or weakness.
One should have the condition confirmed in order to accurately pin-point to the type of arthritis that the individual suffers. Based on the severity, the physician may recommend hot/ cold packs, pain relieving creams, physical therapy, drugs, shots of cortisone or replacement of the joint.
For rheumatoid arthritis, the individual may be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, suppressants for the immunity, TNF alpha inhibitors, analgesics or surgery.
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