Rheumatism, Osteoarthritis, Arthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis? Most people know that all these terms have something to do with permanent joint pain. Are all the same or are there differences?
All these diseases belong to the so-called rheumatic type. However, this encompasses such a broad field of usually relapsing, painful states of the musculoskeletal system, that this limitation does not help much.
If one picks only the terms arthrosis and rheumatism, the latter being the colloquial term for rheumatoid arthritis or chronic polyarthritis, the picture becomes clearer.
Both are very painful inflammations of the joints, but the causes are fundamentally different. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. That is, here the suffering begins, for example, by a mechanical overuse or malposition of the joint, which leads to a deterioration of the articular cartilage. These ensure that the joint can move as smoothly and painlessly as possible. If the cartilage suffers damage and the stress load continues, it sets in motion an inflammation in the course of which the cartilage continues to bear, and later, possibly even the underlying joint bone is attacked. It takes little imagination to imagine that then every movement hurts and the joint can no longer appropriately fulfill its task.
Osteoarthritis Arthritis Feature
People wіth OA are not lіkеlу to experience bоdу-wіdе symptoms. The dеgеnеrаtіvе nаturе оf OA іѕ lіmіtеd ѕоlеlу to the jоіntѕ. It doesn’t аffесt thе еntіrе bоdу.
You mіght dеvеlор lumрѕ undеr the ѕkіn аrоund thе joints, but these lumрѕ аrе different frоm rheumatoid nodules. Pеорlе wіth OA tend to dеvеlор еxсеѕѕ bоnе grоwth at thе еdgеѕ оf thе affected jоіntѕ, саllеd bоnе spurs.
Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, the joint-destroying inflammation develops through an autoimmune reaction of the body. Also, the inflammatory response exists from the beginning. For unknown reasons, the affected person’s immune system begins to treat and attack the articular cartilage like a foreign body. It, unfortunately, does a great job, because over the years, so the joint can be destroyed.
The treatment of both diseases is similar in part. Physiotherapy supports joint function. If the cartilage or joint is severely damaged, an artificial joint, an endoprosthesis, can be used by surgery. The immune reaction to rheumatoid arthritis is tried to be attenuated by drugs. Also, cortisone preparations are also used as anti-inflammatory agents.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Characteristics
Each kind of arthritis also has its own unique set of symptoms. RA is a systemic disease, which means it can affect the entire body, not just the joints. Early signs of RA can include low-grade fever (in children), muscle aches, and excessive fatigue.
People in advanced stages of RA may notice hard lumps underneath the skin near joints. The lumps, called rheumatoid nodules, can be tender.
Symptoms: Similarities and Differences
Many of the basic symptoms of RA and OA are the same, including:
- painful, stiff joints
- limited range of motion
- warmth or tenderness in the affected area
- increased intensity of symptoms first thing in the morning