Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis: Difference and Comparison

Our body goes through many changes, and we are indispensably affected by diseases in the course of life. Arthritis occurs from forty to sixty years of age.

Key Takeaways

  1. Arthritis is an umbrella term for joint inflammation, while osteoarthritis is a specific type of arthritis caused by wear and tear on the joints.
  2. Osteoarthritis results from cartilage breakdown, whereas other types of arthritis may have different causes, such as autoimmune reactions.
  3. Treatment for osteoarthritis focuses on managing pain and maintaining the joint function, while other arthritis treatments may target the underlying cause.

Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

The difference between Arthritis and Osteoarthritis is that Arthritis causes inflammation in the tissues of the Joint. Osteoarthritis causes some of the tissues which are flexible in the bones to be torn down and extremely weak. Arthritis can cause pain in the joints, and movement of the affected joints will be reduced.

Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is a very common disease that affects the joints. It occurs in older people about forty to sixty years of age. It is very painful and especially in the hands or legs wherever this disease is present, movement will be lesser.

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of Arthritis. It affects the tissues at the end of the bones. The cushioned area, which can be found at the end of the bones, is affected by Osteoarthritis.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonArthritis Osteoarthritis 
What is it?Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints causing inflammation in that area.Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the tissues which are present at the end of the bones
Symptoms It can cause extreme pain in the joints and reduced movement in that area with a stiffness Joint pain can be experienced in the lower back of our body, in the knees and neck.
TreatmentsTherapies, self-care and medication Medications along with physiotherapy 
What does it affect?Inflammation in the joint and destroys itCauses wear and tear in the tissues of the joints.
How many cases per yearMore than eleven millionMore than ten million 

What is Arthritis?

If any disorder affects the bone joints, it can be called Arthritis. It can cause a range of problems, and one of the main disadvantages is that this disease cannot be cured.

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This has a reason as well, as we age, our immune system also ages. It didn’t work as well as when we were young. So when the immune system weakens, this disease attacks the tissues of the joints.

Other factors can cause Arthritis. It includes the genetic factor of an individual, if an individual’s metabolism is not proper, any injuries that the individual has faced and if their immune system is weak.

Over more than a hundred types of Arthritis exist. Most of the treatments include resting the joint using either applying heat or cold press. When it affects the hands, it can affect the fingers as well.


What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease just like Arthritis with some differences. This disease affects the soft cushion-like tissues that are present at the end of the bones.

Over ten million people are affected each year globally due to this disease. This Osteoarthritis can cause extreme pain in the joints and can make the joints stiff. When cartilage breaks down, it causes this disease.

There is no cure for this disease, although some medication and therapy can reduce the symptoms.  The articular cartilage is the last stage of this disease.

Osteoarthritis cannot be crippling to a person affected by it but can cause other problems. Women can get Osteoarthritis majorly because of menopause and weight gain.


Main Differences Between Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

  1. For Arthritis, a lot of therapies, and medications, such as Tylenol, and ibuprofen can be bought over the counter. Exercises also help.
  2. Some books on Arthritis are Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Full Catastrophe Living, Get a Grip: A Take-Charge Approach to Living with Arthritis and Me and My Pain.
Difference Between Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
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Last Updated : 21 August, 2023

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