Osteo or Rheumatoid Arthritis – differences in symptoms and treatments…
How often do you hear someone say ‘Oh I think it’s a touch of rheumatism’, when they have some stiffness or pain? Or maybe they say, ‘it’s probably arthritis’. Both of these comments may be correct, but how do you tell if you have arthritis? And if you have it, what type is it, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis?
Patients frequently have difficulty understanding if they have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, they are both conditions that we hear about often, but they are both very different.
Osteoarthritis (also referred to as degenerative joint disease or ‘wear-and-tear’ arthritis) is caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones that form a joint. Cartilage loss can cause bone to rub on bone in a joint — a condition that is very painful. Usually osteoarthritis begins in a single joint such as a knee or hip (see here for our guide to osteoarthritis of the knee).
Treatment for reach type is also very different, osteoarthritis (depending on where it is in the body) is best managed by exercise and prescriptive activity such as cycling, walking and some strengthening/stretching exercises (3). Helpful treatment and the prescription of appropriate exercises can be provided by an osteopath (4).
Rheumatoid arthritis requires prescription of various medications to help control the symptoms and pain, patients who seek help and get diagnosed early have a much better chance of controlling the symptoms and minimizing damage to the affected joints and organs. Supportive exercise and manual therapy can also help reduce symptoms. (5).
Do you want to know what is causing your pain and if we can help? Why not take advantage of our new patient assessment introductory offer to get you started towards a tailor made recovery plan for only £19.
Are you in a lot of pain and want to get better as soon as possible? If so then why not book in for a new patient consultation, with treatment on the day, for £60.
We are also there to help you from home. Take a look at our suite of exercise resources and advice sheets which you can easily download and use from home.
3 Fransen et al (2015). Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee. Available at, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004376.pub3/abstract.
4 French et al (2010). Manual therapy for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee – A systematic review. Manual Therapy, Vol 16, 2, pp109-117.