The Difference Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

You’re plagued with aching, swollen joints. If this is a buildup of pain over a period of time rather than the result of a long day on the golf course, then a trip to the orthopedist’s office is overdue. The cause is probably arthritis. There are over 100 kinds of arthritis. Which kind do you have?

Although arthritis comes in many forms, the two that most people suffer from are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects more than 30 million Americans. Rheumatoid arthritis is more rare, affecting over 1 million Americans. 

Our expert Apollo Pain Management staff members treat many patients with both types of arthritis in our Sun City, Florida, office, and help relieve the pain and underlying inflammation that characterize both diseases. 

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two different diseases

Both types of arthritis cause joint damage, but they’re completely different disorders. Osteoarthritis, the more common type, occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones in your joints breaks down. It can start from wear and tear over a number of years, or it can result from a traumatic injury to the joint that leads to an early onset of osteoarthritis. 

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune condition. Your immune system, which protects you against bacteria and viruses, mistakenly perceives your joints as invaders and attacks the synovial tissue and fluid, resulting in chronic inflammation. 

Symptoms of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis usually affects the joints you use over and over again: Think wear and tear on your fingers and hands (daily chores, typing on a keyboard, using tools at work) and weight-bearing joints — your spine, hips, and knees. Symptoms typically include the following: 

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

RA attacks more than your joints. It can damage other body systems, including your heart and lungs. 

Arthritis treatment 

It’s important to receive prompt treatment for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis to mitigate the damage these diseases can cause. Part of the solution lies with you. Your Apollo Pain Management staff works with you on lifestyle changes at the same time as starting treatment with medication. Your Apollo Pain Management physician prescribes the most effective medication/injection treatment for your stage of arthritis. 

Lifestyle changes

Apollo Pain Mangement’s caring staff works with you to develop a workable plan to make lifestyle changes that can help reduce your pain and inflammation. Appropriate forms of exercise and stretching, dietary changes, and stress-management techniques like meditation and mindfulness can be very helpful. 

Your general practitioner coordinates with our Apollo Pain Management office to arrange an appointment. We look forward to being your medical pain management partner.

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