What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are two diseases belonging to the same family, that of rheumatism. They both cause joint pain, but are very different.

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are two distinct pathologies. Arthritis is linked to an inflammation of the membrane surrounding a joint. This inflammation will lead to the secretion of substances called quinines. The quinines will attack the joint to destroy it little by little. Osteoarthritis is a mechanical condition. It is indeed due to the degradation of the cartilage at the level of the joints, which will have the consequence of creating friction between two bones, because nothing more comes to “buffer” between them.

Arthritis and osteoarthritis: what are the main differences?

To differentiate arthritis from osteoarthritis, it is already necessary to look at the patient’s symptoms. In the case of osteoarthritis, the pain tends to occur during the day and increases as soon as there is physical exertion. Crackles can also be heard and sometimes a small deformation can be seen. In case of arthritis, the pains can appear at rest and during the night, which can even cause an awakening. The joints are stiff in the morning and need to be warmed up to function better. The joints can also become deformed, in the case of ankylosing polyarthritis for example. Arthritis and osteoarthritis do not usually affect the same parts of the body. Osteoarthritis tends to settle in the knees, hips and vertebrae. Arthritis often occurs in the hands and feet.

Pain: the different treatments for arthritis and osteoarthritis

Since osteoarthritis and arthritis are two different diseases, their respective treatments are not the same. When a person suffers from osteoarthritis, pain management is first recommended. For this, analgesics, anti-inflammatories and possibly opioids can be prescribed. Hyaluronic acid infiltrations can be prescribed afterwards. This treatment for osteoarthritis strengthens the cartilage. Arthritis is treated differently. This involves targeting the inflammation causing the pain with antibiotics if the origin is infectious. If the arthritis is of immune or metabolic origin, other treatments may be recommended by specialists, such as biotherapy.

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