Arthritis Wars: Unveiling the Real Deal between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is a common joint condition, one which occurs when your joints suddenly become inflamed. Given its widespread reach, there are numerous forms of arthritis. While some affect certain joints, others encompass different areas and can negatively affect your organs. The most common types of arthritis, however, are rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).

Despite having similar symptoms, both these conditions differ in their causes. To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, continue reading.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that tends to affect your joints. It occurs when your immune system starts targeting all your body’s healthy cells, leading to inflammation and joint damage.

The easiest way to spot signs of rheumatoid arthritis is by keeping an eye out for joint pain, swelling, and reduced mobility. If you notice that something is wrong with your movement or joints, head over to a rheumatologist immediately. Because if proper care is not taken, rheumatoid arthritis can lead to severe joint troubles such as deformities and total loss of function.


Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis is not considered to be an autoimmune disease. If anything, it occurs from common wear and tear of the joint, especially cartilage degeneration. Every joint has soft cartilage that helps to cushion and protect the two ends of the bones. However, when this cartilage wears away or dissipates, it can cause the bones to rub against each other, leading to friction. This can further give way to osteoarthritis as the pain and swelling slowly develop. Osteoarthritis typically affects joints that bear a lot of burden, such as your knees, hips, or spine. Sometimes, it can also arise in the hands.

How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Differ From Osteoarthritis?

There are plenty of factors that set the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. For instance, RA is an autoimmune disease – it isn’t caused by any kind of external stimuli. On the other hand, OA occurs as a result of overusing the joints or putting too much pressure on them.

Moreover, the effects of rheumatoid arthritis start developing between the ages of 30 to 60. There are also cases where it affects people as young as teenagers. This is known as young-onset rheumatoid arthritis. In contrast, osteoarthritis often arises in older people but is not limited to them. It can also affect people in their late teens or early 20s.

Which Is Worse: Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis

When it comes to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, there is no comparison. Since both are a form of arthritis, each condition has its ups and downs. While rheumatoid arthritis is a result of your immune system, osteoarthritis is caused by overusing the joints and applying too much pressure. Both conditions have their own set of symptoms and factors that can worsen the effects. Thus, depending on the severity of your pain and condition, either type of arthritis can be bad.

Don’t Disregard Your Bones!

If your joints suddenly start acting up, displaying signs of swelling and pain, do not brush it away. It may be an indicator of arthritis. To make sure your joints are in optimum condition, visit Rheumatology Care at 13688 Breton Ridge St, STE H, Houston, TX 77070, near Houston Kidney Specialists Center. You can also give us a ring by dialing 832-532-9779 to schedule an appointment beforehand.

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