Difference Between Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Our body goes through many changes and we are indispensably affected by diseases in our course of life. Arthritis usually occurs from forty to sixty years of age. Usually, this is a very common disease and it causes inflammation in the joints. Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are other varieties of arthritis.

Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

The main 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.

Arithritis vs Osteoarithritis

Arthritis is a very common disease that affects the joints. It usually occurs to 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. This disease cannot be cured but there are excellent medicines for this.

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. This disease just like Arthritis cannot be cured but then there are medications to help people affected by this disease.

Comparison Table Between Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Parameters of Comparison Arthritis 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. This disease occurs rarely in children and its focus is mainly on the people who are old. It can affect people from their forties to sixties. 

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. It particularly affects a tissue called the synovium. This tissue works in protecting the cartilage by providing it nourishment.

Other factors can cause Arthritis. It includes the genetic factor of an individual, if an individual’s metabolism is not proper, any injuries that individual has faced and if their immune system is weak. There are several medications and treatments to minimise the amount of pain a person encounters due to this disease.

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

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. This has other names such as Degenerative arthritis and degenerative joint disease. Rheumatoid Arthritis is another variety of arthritis. Both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are common.

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. This cartilage works to ease the friction that occurs in your joints. When this process is affected Osteoarthritis comes into the picture.

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. Here the tissues present at the end of the bones completely wear off. Now the bones can directly come into contact with each other.

Osteoarthritis cannot cause 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. Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints in the bones whereas Osteoarthritis is a disease that affects the soft tissues at the end of each bone
  2. More than eleven million cases are affected by Arthritis each year whereas more than ten million people are affected by Osteoarthritis each year.
  3. Gout and lupus are other names of arthritis as they are different types. Osteoarthritis is called Degenerative arthritis and degenerative joint disease.
  4. For Arthritis a lot of therapies, medications such as Tylenol, ibuprofen can be bought over the counter. Exercises also help. For Osteoarthritis medications with a lot of physiotherapies helps and eases pain.
  5. 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. Some books on Osteoarthritis are Three Thousand stitches by Sudha Murthi, One step ahead on Osteoarthritis and Osteoarthritis.


Arthritis and Osteoarthritis are diseases that affect the joints of an individual. Another way to help the pain is to give hot and cold press. Although this does not have any cure, advancements in the medical field have improved. There are several medications, physiotherapy, self-medication that can be followed. Usually, it affects older people as they have lower immunity. 

Exercises and reducing weight immensely helps in Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects an individual in four stages hence it is always beneficial to seek medical help before in time. Exercises with low impact such.s swimming, walking, cycling and Ta chi can be practised.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/art.1780230203
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673614608023
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