Osteoarthritis is more common type of arthritis than rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is recognized as the most disabling type of arthritis. Here are few significant differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis – which is referred to as degenerative joint disease and also referred as wear-and- tear arthritis – is caused by the wear-and- tear of cartilage at the joints. Cartilage loss can cause bone to rub on bone in a joint which is a condition that is very painful. Usually osteoarthritis begins in a single joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is chronic and inflammatory type of arthritis. It is also classified as an autoimmune disease wherein the immune cells attack the healthy tissues of the body. The lining of the joint – synovium – is mainly affected by rheumatoid arthritis but any organ of the body can be affected as well. Multiple joints are usually involved with rheumatoid arthritis.
Different Effect on the Body:
Bones are affected due to OA. As RA is an autoimmune disease, it can affect a person’s organs as well. And because it is not caused by overuse of a joint, symmetrical effect on the body is observed i.e., joints on both sides of the body – both large and small joints – are affected at the same time.
Different Worsening Rates:
OA develops over a long period of time and gets worse as people age and put more wear on their joints. Conversely, RA can strike and advance over the course of few weeks or months.
Different Medications for Treatment:
OA is generally treated with over-the- counter or painkillers that are anti-inflammatory. OA patients may be prescribed narcotic painkillers in severe cases. They also may be given injections directly into an affected joint. Complete cure for RA is not yet identified. However, drugs can slow down the progression and prevent severe damage of the tissues.
Different Age Groups:
OA tends to strike older people and is more common in people older than age 65 who had put more wear and tear on their joints. Repetitive usage of specific joints can also increase the risk for OA in these overused joints. RA can affect anyone at any age. Men, women and even children can develop rheumatoid arthritis, of which many of them are women. Typically, RA affects people between 30 and 60 years of age. For men, it usually strikes later in life.