There are many different types of arthritis and the treatment options vary as per the type of arthritis. Two of the most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Even though the symptoms of both these types of arthritis are similar, it is important to distinguish between the two to find the proper treatment.
In a rheumatology clinic, an experienced rheumatologist will perform the necessary tests to find out what variety of arthritis you are suffering from. Only after determining the type of arthritis, the rheumatologist will be able to suggest a treatment plan that will be able to effectively treat your problem. Therefore, let us see what the differences between the two types of arthritis are.
Osteoarthritis usually occurs when the cartilage that is present in the joint surfaces wears out. The wear and tear of cartilage may be due to heavy use or age. It is the cartilage at the ends of the bones that allow them the move against each other comfortably without any friction. When the cartilage wears away, the bones will be exposed at the joints and will rub against each other leading to pain and other symptoms.
The degenerative nature of osteoarthritis is usually limited to the joints of the person and the problem starts in an isolated joint. If you have osteoarthritis, you might see lumps around the joints. However, these lumps are not the same as the rheumatoid nodules. You might also see bone spurs at the affected joints. Bone spurs are an excess growth of bones at the affected joints.
Rheumatology arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the malfunction of the immune system leads to this disorder. In the case of an autoimmune disorder, the immune system of the person wrongly attacks the cells of the body. In rheumatology arthritis, it is the synovial membrane that is attacked by the immune cells. The synovial membrane protects the joints from damage and facilitates easy movement of the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in several joints at the same time and can happen symmetrically, that is, it can affect the joints on both sides of the body at the same time. The symptoms can include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, and anemia.
The symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis may be the same and you will need to visit a rheumatology clinic and seek the help of a specialist to find out the exact problem that you are suffering from and to ensure proper treatment.