Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis – The Difference Between

The difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis

Arthritis and osteoarthritis and two terms used to put a name on joint pain. They do have different causes, but the symptoms of both medical conditions are very similar. Both are diseases of the joints of the body, but arthritis refers to the pain a patient has in the joints and osteoarthritis refers to a degeneration of the joints that progressively worsens over time. Both conditions have an impact on the lives of those suffering from either one because they find it very difficult to move about quickly and easily. There are millions of people all over the world diagnosed with these conditions every year.

Arthritis

Pain in the joints is the best way to explain the meaning of arthritis. There are different forms of arthritis of which osteoarthritis is only one. A few of the others are Rheumatoid arthritis and Psoriatic arthritis. Pain is common in all the types and it is constant. Inflammation around the joints causes this pain as well as swelling and stiffness of the joints.

Patients with arthritis have a lot of difficulty walking because it is hard for the joints to move as they should. The pain and the inflammation also cause other problems such as weight loss, lack of sleep and sometimes fever. The risk of arthritis can be reduced by making sure you eat healthy foods and get plenty of exercise. There is no cure for the condition and when the pain and mobility become too much for patients to handle, surgery for knee and hip replacement may be necessary.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease in which the joints start to break down and degenerate over time. They start to lose cartilage and this can be caused by genetics, malfunction of the metabolism and changes that occur in development. Without the protection of cartilage, the bones are bare and are more susceptible to damage. In order to avoid complications, patients are advised to lose weight.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is the leading cause of disability in all countries of the world. Oral steroids are not recommended as treatment, but non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly used to treat this condition.

Since genetics is a major factor in osteoarthritis, if one of the parents has this condition, it is likely that the children will also have it when they get older. At the same there is no age limit on the condition because there are people who are very young that suffer from it. In some patients, changes in the physical shape of the joints, such as those in the fingers, can be seen quite easily.

Summary

  1. Osteoarthritis is a branch of arthritis. The symptoms of joint pain are the same, as well as difficulty in moving about and stiffness of the joints.
  2. Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints, but osteoarthritis is caused by the loss of cartilage around the joints.
  3. There is no cure for either condition, but non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs are used to ease the pain. Joint replacement is also a treatment for both conditions.
  4. Losing weight, following a healthy diet and getting exercise are ways of reducing the risk of arthritis.
  5. Those who are overweight are more likely to have arthritis, but osteoarthritis is inherited. Neither have any connection to age.