It is common for people to misunderstand between arthritis and rheumatism, as both these diseases affect joints. Also, you must know that the term “rheumatism” is no longer used; instead, it is called rheumatoid arthritis. That said, people still use it informally when describing the symptoms of this condition. Many people use both these terms when talking about symptoms like joint pain and inflammations. The purpose of this article is to discuss in detail the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; read ahead to know more about them.
Facts About Rheumatology Arthritis And Osteoarthritis
- Nowadays, medical professionals do not use the term rheumatism.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the rheumatology diseases that affect the joints.
- The reason for the confusion between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is because many of their symptoms overlap.
- There are many fundamental differences between these two diseases, and because of this, their treatments are different.
What Is Rheumatology Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis that affects the joints due to autoimmunity. Due to this, the immune system attacks the synovial membrane, and this causes its inflammation. Remember that the synovial membrane lines the joints, bursae, and tendon sheaths. This causes swelling and pain in the affected joints.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and it is caused because of wear and tear of joints. Some of its symptoms are the following:
- Stiff or sore joints.
- The joint stiffness increases after resting, and it reduces with movement.
- The pain in the affected joint worsens towards the end of the day or after an activity.
In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that acts as a cushion between bones inside the joints deteriorates due to wear and tear. Due to this, the bones rub against each other, and this damages the joint. This can happen due to the overuse of joints or due to medical conditions like obesity.
The Difference Between Rheumatology Arthritis And Osteoarthritis
Listed below are the factors that differentiate between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis:
- Rheumatoid arthritis affects the middle joints of fingers, and joints that attach fingers to the hand, but osteoarthritis affects the joint at the end of fingers and the base of the thumb.
- Often, rheumatoid arthritis is symmetrical, i.e. it affects the same joint on both sides of the body. Whereas osteoarthritis is not symmetrical as it usually affects the overused joint.
On a final note, there is no permanent cure for both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. But their progress can be slowed down or stopped with proper treatment.