Arthritis and osteoarthritis – what is it and what is the difference between diseases

The most frequent diseases of joints – arthritis and arthrosis. Two diseases have many differences, which largely depends on the outcome of the disease.

The correct definition of the disease by a medical professional is the key to effective treatment for full recovery of the affected joints. Influenced by age-related changes in each person there is a risk of pathological changes in the joints. Particularly affected are the joints, which throughout life are subject to increased load.

Diseases can be a direct cause articular changes. To prevent any unwanted effects from the diseases of the joints, it is necessary not to allow the disease to develop, adhering to prevention and treatment.

What is arthritis and osteoarthritis and how they differ

Arthritis and osteoarthritis – the common diagnoses in older patients. To understand the differences between these two pathologies, consider what are arthritis and osteoarthritis and the difference between them.

Many people confuse osteoarthritis and arthritis because they share many similar symptoms:

  • aching;
  • pain when moving;
  • deformation of the bone;
  • swelling;
  • redness of the inflamed area;
  • burning sensation in the affected location;
  • stiffness.
Arthritis and arthrosis

It is therefore necessary to more thoroughly investigate these diseases in order to understand their specificity to distinguish between symptoms and manifestations of disease.

Arthritis – inflammatory disease of the joints, when the body begins to produce enzymes that destroy connective tissue. Affected synovial sheath where the vessels and nerves, the composition of the liquid is disrupted and the cartilage gets the right nutrition. Long arthritis results in osteoarthritis.

Consider the difference in symptoms between arthritis and arthrosis:

The symptoms of arthritis The symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • appears synovitis – swelling in the diseased place, characterized by a strong sensitivity, limitation.
  • affects any joints, both small and large. Even in the plural version, then diagnostirovat arthritis.
  • most often seen in women.
  • the pain is aching, sharp, regardless of the state of rest or exertion. Can "float" from one place to another.
  • morning stiffness is manifested in the joint, poor mobility. Disappears in half an hour/an hour after the person begins to move.
  • in the fevered space temperature rises, the skin becomes red.
  • swelling in the area of the patient's joint.
  • extremities can freeze, to go numb in the morning experienced numbness.
  • the joint is deformed, which is immediately evident on x-ray.
  • beginning to affect weather dependent, painful joints ache much "weather".
  • the undulating character of the pain. Early pain weak intensity for a long time is not increased;
  • gradually the pain increases in the morning heard the stiffness in the joints problem;
  • with the development of degenerative changes of the mobility of the affected region is reduced in advanced cases complete immobility due to the destruction of the cartilage;
  • the main localization – the hip joints (coxarthrosis), the spine (spondylosis), knees (gonarthrosis).

Note the main signs of articular pathologies. Even slight discomfort in the joints should raise suspicion about the development of negative processes in the cartilage tissue.


Arthritis is an inflammatory reaction in the joint that occurs in response to the action of various damaging factors.

Arthritis, or rather osteoarthritis, is also not a separate disease, but a group of different conditions which are based on the change of all components of the joint: cartilage, bone, ligaments, joint capsule and periarticular muscles.

Causes of arthritis Causes of osteoarthritis
  1. Injury. The most well-known mechanism for the development of arthritis. Bruises, fractures, bleeding in the joint cavity lead to cell damage and the formation of inflammation.
  2. Hypothermia. Can dramatically impair blood flow to the joints, especially the smaller ones. Connective tissue cells deprived of nutrition die. Arthritis occurs.
  3. Infection. Can get in articulate connection with the injuries or the blood in infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, listeriosis, Lyme disease.
  4. Systemic diseases of connective tissue. This is a group of diseases in which the immune system perceives its own tissue as foreign and attack them. Is systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and some other diseases.
  5. As bones, cartilage and ligaments consist of the majority of the connective tissue, the joints react to this inflammation in the first place.
  6. The cause of arthritis can be such serious diseases as psoriasis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis.
  1. The effect of occupational factors and sport load. Gymnasts and skaters have a higher frequency of lesions of the hip joints, dancers ballet ankle, football and basketball – knee, boxer wrist joints.
  2. The excess body weight. People with obesity have repeatedly increased load on the intervertebral joints and discs. As a result of ongoing mikrotravmatizatsii is the wear of these structures that underlies such diseases as osteochondrosis and spondiloarthrosis.
  3. The consequences of joint injuries. Not always after acute injury and development of arthritis the joint is fully restored. Sometimes its blood supply remained disrupted, as a result, the joint operates in the conditions of insufficient supply of nutrients and oxygen. After some time, develop into arthritis.
  4. Systemic diseases, violate the nutrition of articular cartilage. These include, for example, diabetes, insufficient thyroid function, and some diseases, accompanied by the violation of calcium metabolism. Also the restructuring of the bone can cause hormonal disorders in women in menopause.
  5. Chronic inflammatory processes in the joints. Prolonged inflammation may occur in connective tissue diseases, ankylosing spondylitis and other conditions.

However, despite differences in symptoms and causes, in some cases arthritis and osteoarthritis can exist together. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis there are frequent exacerbations of the disease in which the joint does not have time to recover. Another example: an improperly healed after a fracture joint that is constantly exposed to trauma. Such a condition doctors call "osteoarthritis".


To begin treatment of the disease, correct diagnosis of arthritis or osteoarthritis. To hold it you can use various methods of research. Not all patients know what the doctor is engaged in articular pathologies, therefore, at the initial stage you can contact the rheumatologist or physician and then will need to consult a orthopedic surgeon.

Patients are required to appoint a blood test, which will show General changes in the body. If the results of the blood test will not show deviations, the doctors are inclined in the direction of osteoarthritis as a preliminary diagnosis.

With the increase of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate in the blood plasma is suspected rheumatoid arthritis because there is a clear indication of the inflammatory process. Usually the rate increases above 25 mm/h. an Additional confirmation sign will be and joint pain, worse at night. In fairness, we note that the increase of ESR is possible and in case of arthrosis, if acceded to inflammation.

An additional argument in favor of rheumatoid arthritis will be elevated white blood cell count. Also take blood from a vein in rheumatology sample the appearance of a special grade of – C-reactive protein which indicates inflammation. However, one should not rely only on blood tests so as to determine reliably one of the diseases on this analysis impossible. Further research was needed, constantly considering the presence of inflammatory factors in the blood.

As additional research, doctors prescribe the patient:

  • x-rays of the problem area;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • computed tomography;
  • radioisotope scanning.

Doctors consider the tests, carefully collected history and results of blood examination, after which diagnosed with a particular disease.

Arthritis and osteoarthritis – how to treat?

Both of the disease involve special therapy, without which the arthritis becomes chronic, and the arthritis makes health.

General principles of treatment are similar, but the tasks differ:

  • arthritis main goal is to remove inflammation, relieve symptoms, prevent complications to other organs;
  • in osteoarthritis, due to the inability to completely cure the disease, the primary therapeutic focus is on relieving pain and stop the degenerative processes in cartilage.

The complex of therapeutic measures necessarily includes medication in the form of tablets, ointments, creams, solutions, powders, injections. As a subsidiary of the ways used people prescriptions, physiotherapy, therapeutic exercises. In advanced cases not to do without surgical intervention.

Treatment of arthritis Treatment of osteoarthritis
  1. The first phase – the struggle with pathogenic bacteria, dangerous viruses, which influences inflammatory process has begun. The compulsory acceptance of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  2. It is important not only to destroy the pathogen, but also to strengthen the immune system.
  3. Recommended protein diet, vitamin, dairy products. Mandatory abstinence from alcohol, strong coffee, sweet carbonated drinks, black tea (preferably green).
  4. Good effect gives physiotherapy: electrophoresis with drugs against inflammation, magneto-and laser therapy, medical baths. After the relief of the inflammatory process to restore the mobility of the diseased joint will help the complex physical therapy, massage. Useful traditional methods without the use of heat.
  1. The main task – to normalize the condition of the cartilage. A doctor prescribes chondroprotectors hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. A long course of treatment improves the elasticity of cartilage tissue, restores blood circulation, metabolism, stops degenerative processes.
  2. In severe cases, the desired products of the group of NSAIDs to relieve pain, eliminate inflammation, developed in the abrasion of the articular tissue. But as a basic tool in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the they are ineffective.
  3. Useful physiotherapy, special exercises. Many patients and doctors are positive about the articular gymnastics Bubnovsky.
  4. Patients have successfully used traditional methods. Homemade ointments, decoctions, compresses, baths, tinctures made from natural ingredients.
  5. The complete destruction of cartilage surgical treatment – arthroplasty. Osteoarthritis cannot be cured, it is only possible to maintain joint health, prevent exacerbation.

Treatment of osteoarthritis is long and complex — in hospital, clinic and sanatorium. Used physiotherapy, massages, physiotherapy. There are orthopedic correction. The ineffectiveness of the above-described conduct surgical procedures – fusion (the rigid clamping of the bone joints in a predetermined position) or arthroplasty (restoring the possibility of joint).

Therapy arthritis also is complex, depending on the severity of the disease. Prescribed physiotherapy and sanatorium resort treatment. The massage here is not recommended, physical therapy very rarely. Of complications (inflammation of periarticular bags, tendon rupture, complex deformation of the joints), with severe pain and lack of effect from drug therapy, a surgery. It is a prosthetic bone joint, complete or partial removal of the joint capsule and arthrodesis.

Treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis folk remedies

Traditional methods – a good helper in the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis at home. These recipes are based on natural components have mainly symptomatic effect are used as additional funds.

Popular recipes for arthritis Folk remedies for osteoarthritis
In arthritic inflammation of the joint can be done:
  • compresses at night from the leaves of burdock, cabbage, aloe, pre-washed and slightly mashed to release the juice;
  • warm baths from pine needles, propria joints in the healing broth;
  • rubbing the affected sites of egg yolk, a spoon of Apple vinegar and a spoon of turpentine;
  • herbal decoction of sage, St. John's wort and UVA URSI, brew 2 tablespoons of the collection in half a liter of boiling water, taking before meals for 0.5 cups.
Relief for osteoarthritis will help:
  • a compress of ginger root, grated and applied to the affected joint to stimulate circulation and warming effect;
  • rubbing the night from 50 g of honey and 1 tsp Shilajit a healing;
  • pepper mustard plaster or a compress, as the heat treatment;
  • the bath-based decoction of the leaves of mint, or soda-salt solution.

All the recipes can be used in both diseases, but only after consultation with your doctor. Home treatment can help eliminate discomfort and harm, causing allergic reactions and aggravation.


The difference between arthritis and arthrosis a significant. Knowledge of the characteristics of joint diseases will help the patient to control the course of the pathological process, to intelligently use all available methods of treatment. Under the guidance of experienced doctor can handle any articular pathology.

Prevention of disease should pay attention to a healthy lifestyle. A balanced intake of food and systematic exercise will increase the life of the joints, and it is necessary to strengthen the whole health.