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All About Osteoarthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Updated on 11 July 2022

Tenderness in one or more joints that results in pain, swelling, and rigidity is termed “Arthritis”. It usually worsens with increasing age, more prevalent in older people. Talking of its forms, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms of Arthritis. Let’s know about them in detail.

What is Osteoarthritis?

When the cartilage, a tissue that supports the ends of the bones as a cushion, wears down, it results in Osteoarthritis. When this tissue wears off, the ends of the bones grind together giving rise to pain and rigidity.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Pain in the Joints
  • Rigidity in joint movements
  • Swelling
  • Limited motion
  • Joint Sensitivity
  • Cracking or popping sounds

Causes of Osteoarthritis

The causes of joint injury are:

  • History of torn cartilage, ligament tear, or displaced joints
  • Obesity
  • Old age
  • Poor Body Posture and Structure

Management of Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Depending on the severity of the injured joints and the symptoms that occur, the symptoms can be managed:

  • Over-the-Counter Medications: As Osteoarthritis is bound to raise pain and stiffness, over-the-counter painkillers are given to the patients to numb the pain along with some medications for swelling. They may be in the form of oral, ointments, and patches.
  • Management of Weight: As already discussed, there is a risk of Osteoarthritis with an increase in age and weight. While you cannot decrease your age, shedding extra fat helps in reducing the risk factors. It reduces the pressure on your joints and relieves the pain of carrying extra weight.
  • Cold Therapy: When the pain starts itching the joints, you can hold a few ice cubes enclosed in a towel around the injured or swollen area. This helps in relieving the pain and reducing the swelling.
  • Exercise: Exercising and moving your joints just for 20 minutes a day helps in increased movement and relieves rigidity. Do not stress much on the leg and do not choose high-impact exercises or activities.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Similar to Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an infection in joints that causes pain and rigidity. It is one of the types of Arthritis and is caused when the immune system starts attacking its own body. Synovium is the lining of the joints that is attacked by the immune system. It not only affects the hands, legs, and knees, but it has adverse effects on the eyes, circulatory system, and pulmonary system too.  

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Affects more than one joint
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited to No movement
  • Both the sides of the body's joints are affected
  • Affects the smaller joints such as ankles, wrists, etc., first
  • Stiffness and Tenderness
  • Weight Loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chest Pain and Dry eyes as a result of inflammation
  • Sweating and Weight Loss

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis are:

  • Age: Common among the ages above 40
  • Gender: It is more common in females 
  • Genetically transmitted
  • Weight
  • Unhealthy Habits: Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes

Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Depending on the severity of the injured joints and the symptoms that occur can be managed by:

  • Over-the-Counter Medications: To relieve the pain and stiffness, over-the-counter painkillers are given to the patients. They may be in the form of oral painkillers or creams and patches. This numbs the pain. Medications or ointments that reduce the swelling are also prescribed by the doctor.
  • Therapy: The physiotherapist will suggest a few exercises that will help in the movement of the injured area and relieve the pain. Hydrotherapy numbs the pain and relieves the pressure couped up in the injured area.
  • Reduce Weight: As the extra weight applies pressure on the injured area, losing the fat becomes one of the ways of relieving the pain and pressure. Eat healthy food to maintain a balance in your diet.

Differences between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis?

While both forms of Arthritis result in a joint tear, the causes are completely different. One arises due to a mechanical tear, the other arises due to an attack on the immune system. 

Osteoarthritis is caused due to the inflammation of cartilage tissue, while Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused due to inflammation in the synovium i.e., the lining of the joints

While Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the smaller joints, Osteoarthritis is reported to affect the larger joints such as the hips, knee, etc.

Concluding Thoughts

Arthritis is becoming more and more common, and if you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above, immediately visit your doctor at the hospital for rheumatoid arthritis. It is better to get treatment in the early stages than to oversee this medical problem and worsen it. Follow the advice of your doctor and stick to them for better recovery and health.

CARE Hospitals is the best hospital for rheumatoid arthritis specialising in all types of Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis disorders at affordable costs. Our dedicated team of the best orthopedic doctor in Bhubaneswar work together to create personalized osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis treatment plans.

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