Osteoarthritis or arthritis? Why is it important to know their differences

Joint pain in the elderlyMeanwhile, these diseases are completely different nature and different treatment. To know these differences so as not to give the disease a chance to gain the upper hand over you.

Difference 1. The source of the problem

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process accompanied by deformation and abrasion of the joint capsule allowing the joint to move easily and freely. In addition older people with osteoarthritis often suffer and athletes who because of the constant overloading of the cartilage covering the surface of joints, cracks, thinning.

Arthritis is a disease of an inflammatory nature, either associated with failure of the immune system (rheumatoid arthritis) or previous infection – urogenital-intestinal (reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis).

Difference 2. Symptoms

Osteoarthritis does not always manifests itself by pain that occurs during movement or morning stiffness that disappears after a few movements. The affected arthritis joints click and crunch at first that potential victims of the disease do not pay any attention, continuing to load the worn joint.

Arthritis starts with pain, swelling, redness of the skin around the diseased joint, elevated temperature. But at first, it may occur in a latent form. The impetus for the development of the disease can give stress, fatigue, hypothermia, previous infection - colds, cystitis.

Difference 3. The nature of joint damage

Osteoarthritis most often affects the leg joints (hip, knee, ankle) that has a maximum load.

When rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints of the hand or foot, wrist. Then affects the elbow and knee joints (usually symmetrical), and sometimes the disease affects the internal organs (liver, kidneys).

In reactive arthritis inflammation of the joints often is asymmetrical: suffer not both joint and single. The pain goes as the stairs, from foot to foot.

Difference 4. Treatment

Arthrosis, particularly in disrepair, completely impossible to cure. But with proper and constant oral drugs that stimulate the regeneration of cartilage, we can significantly slow its development and improve the quality of life of the patient. Anti-inflammatory drugs for osteoarthritis play a supporting role because of their negative influence on the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract.

Arthritis of infectious origin can be completely cured if treatment is started in time drugs that affect the immune system, antibiotics. In severe, advanced cases, repeat the treatment several times.

Treat rheumatoid arthritis life will have small doses of corticosteroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, cytostatics. But there are other medicines. So, in the mid 90-ies the era of genetically engineered biological drugs, which enables you to achieve long-term remission of the disease and to reduce the dose of hormonal agents.