Are arthritis and osteoarthritis the same thing?

Arthritis and osteoarthritis treatment

People experiencing pain or stiffness in the joints may have a form of arthritis, which is a medical condition characterized by the inflammation and swelling of the joints.

The two most commonly occurring types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis also includes other conditions such as gout, fibromyalgia, and lupus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that around one in every five adults in the US suffers from arthritis.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler provide treatments for the knee, shoulder and other joints to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding communities.

Growing Concerns about Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

The CDC believes that today arthritis is a growing concern in the area of public health. Arthritis is often considered an age-related disease.

However, almost two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65 years of age. In addition, arthritis is the most common type of disability with almost 21 million people in the US reporting suffering from activity limitations due to arthritis.

What are the differences between arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Some key differences are as follows:

How is osteoarthritis different from arthritis?

Arthritis refers to a general medical term for any chronic disease that damages the cartilage and joints. In osteoarthritis, joint damage occurs due to natural wear and tear over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes the body’s own immune system to attack the joints which may cause inflammation, pain, and the gradual destruction of the cartilage at the joint. Rheumatoid arthritis impacts the inner lining of the joints, unlike the “wear and tear” damage that osteoarthritis causes.

What is osteoarthritis?

One of the most common types of arthritis is osteoarthritis. It is known as “wear and tear” arthritis as this condition develops when the protective cartilage covering the bone ends degenerates over time. Treatments can slow the progression of this disease, but there is no known cure.

How can I reduce my risk for arthritis?

Similar to many chronic conditions, weight gain increases the risk for arthritis as well as osteoarthritis. If a person is obese or overweight, the extra weight causes stress on weight-bearing joints such as the knees. This can worsen joint pain.

Women are at a higher risk of osteoarthritis development, although further research is necessary to determine why. In addition, if a person engages in tasks with repetitive motions, it may place extra stress on a particular joint. This may pose an increased risk for osteoarthritis development.

Do arthritis and osteoarthritis have different symptoms?

The common symptoms of arthritis include stiffness, pain, tenderness, and soreness at the joints. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are usually more evident in the morning after a person wakes up or after an extended duration of inactivity. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include firm bumps of tissue beneath the skin, fatigue, fever, and weight loss.

People experiencing such symptoms should consult their doctor promptly. The early diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis is especially important.

What can you do to manage your arthritis better?

For patients of arthritis, it is quite natural to feel frustrated with the chronic pain. Symptoms of arthritis such as swelling, tenderness, and inflammation can impede living an active lifestyle.

But self-management techniques can significantly enhance the quality of the patient’s life. Performing low-impact physical activity such as swimming enhances circulation and helps reduce pain. Dietary and lifestyle changes may also be beneficial.

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler receive patients for knee, shoulder and other joint treatments from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.