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 RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS VS. OSTEOARTHRITIS ARTHRITIS

How do rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis differ?

Although they have similar names and some common symptoms, 
rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) have very different 
causes. Below are the basic differences between RA and OA.

  TYPE OF DISEASE

  RA - an autoimmune disease - A disease in which the immune system attacks the 
  lining of the joints throughout the body and causes painful, stiff, swollen, and          
​  deformed joints, as well as reduced movement and function.

  OA - Known as the “wear and tear” type of arthritis and is associated with factors       such as aging, injury or obesity

  SYMPTOMS

  RA - Joint pain, swelling and stiffness; decreased range of motion; fever, fatigue    

  OA - Joint stiffness, pain and decreased range of motion

  LOCATION OF SYMPTOMS

  RA - Often causes swelling in pairs of joints - especially smaller ones (both hands,    
​   both ankles, etc.)

  OA - Usually affects weight-bearing joints (e.g., back, hip, knee) as well as the neck, 
​  small finger joints and big toe

  TIME OF DAY

  RA - Generally worse in the morning or after long rest and lack of activity

  OA - Tends to get worse with activity throughout the day

  AGE OF ONSET

  RA - Usually occurs between 30 and 50 years of age, though can occur at any age

  OA - Most commonly affects middle-aged and older people

  PREVALENCE

  RA - Approximately 1.3 million people have rheumatoid arthritis in the United States

  OA - An estimated 27 million people have osteoarthritis in the United States