Rheumatic Arthritis vs Ankylosing Spondylitis: Difference and Comparison

Many diseases are very prevalent among humans. Sometimes, some diseases are caused not due to foreign factors but are affected by the body’s defense system. Those diseases are known as autoimmune diseases.

However, there is an underlying reason for combating own body’s defense. Yet, it is not specified. One of the autoimmune diseases is Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Rheumatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects the joints and can cause inflammation, swelling, and pain while ankylosing spondylitis primarily affects the spine and can cause stiffness and pain in the back and neck.
  2. Rheumatic arthritis is more common in women than men, while ankylosing spondylitis is more common in men than women.
  3. Rheumatic arthritis can be managed with medication and physical therapy, while ankylosing spondylitis is managed with medication, exercise, and physical therapy but may require surgery in severe cases.

Rheumatic Arthritis vs Ankylosing Spondylitis

Rheumatic Arthritis is a medical disease of an individual’s musculoskeletal system and it affects the bones, organs, and joints, but it doesn’t affect the axial skeleton. Ankylosing Spondylitis is a disease that affects the joints and the mobility of the sacroiliac joints and the spine.

Rheumatic Arthritis vs Ankylosing Spondylitis

Rheumatic Arthritis is an autoimmune disease of the musculoskeletal system that affects the joints in the extremities. It also affects bones and even organs sometimes. Unlike Ankylosing Spondylitis, it doesn’t affect the axial skeleton.

Moreover, It causes immense inflammation in the synovium or the membrane, i.e., lining around the joints. Rheumatic Arthritis occurs between 30 to 40 years and is more common in females rather than males.

Furthermore, It has an eminent influence on health due to heart disease complications. 

Ankylosing Spondylitis is likewise an autoimmune disease that affects bone, joints, and even organs but doesn’t affect joints in the extremities.

Preferably, it affects the mobility of the spine and sacroiliac joints.  Moreover, it only causes inflammation of the enthesis.

Ankylosing Spondylitis occurs between 20 to 30 years and is more common among males than females. Furthermore, it has a lesser impact on health than Rheumatic Arthritis. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonRheumatic Arthritis Ankylosing Spondylitis
Affected part rheumatic arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system to the extremities. Ankylosing Spondylitis affects the mobility of the spine and sacroiliac joints. 
Affects axial skeleton Rheumatic Arthritis doesn’t affect the axial skeleton. It affects the axial skeleton. 
Inflammation partRheumatic Arthritis causes enormous inflammation in the synovium or the membrane. Ankylosing Spondylitis only causes the enthesis.
AgeRheumatic Arthritis occurs between 30 to 40 years. Ankylosing Spondylitis occurs between 20 to 30 years. 
Common in females or malesRheumatic Arthritis is prevalent in females rather than males. Ankylosing Spondylitis is more common among males than females. 
Influence on healthIt has an eminent influence on health due to heart disease complications.It has a lesser impact on health than Rheumatic Arthritis. 

What is Rheumatic Arthritis?

Rheumatic Arthritis is an autoimmune disease of the musculoskeletal system that affects the joints in the extremities. It also affects bones and even organs sometimes. It is one of the common rheumatic diseases. Additionally, it is also termed RA. 

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The significant symptom is inflammation and stiffening of joints, although extremities influence it in both hands and feet. Besides, it also affects the bilateral involvement of both joints. 

Some people experience eminent pain due to inflammation and stiffening. And some other types of rheumatic diseases are similar to Rheumatic Arthritis.  

Some similar symptoms are present in rheumatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, such as morning stiffness, nausea, and fatigue.

Although both have indistinguishable influences on patients’ lives but, with time, persistent pain and mobility can be affected as a result, a person’s life is changed a lot. 

Unlike Ankylosing Spondylitis, it doesn’t affect the axial skeleton. Moreover, It causes immense inflammation in the synovium or the membrane, i.e., lining around the joints. 

Rheumatic Arthritis occurs between 30 to 40 years and is more common in females rather than males. In early adulthood, it doesn’t affect a person’s health. But it affects at a later stage of adulthood. 

Furthermore, It has a more prominent influence on health due to heart disease complications. 

rheumatic arthritis

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis? 

Ankylosing Spondylitis is likewise an autoimmune disease that affects bone, joints, and even organs but doesn’t affect joints in the extremities.

Preferably, it affects the mobility of the spine and sacroiliac joints. It is also one of the common rheumatic diseases. 

The significant symptom is inflammation and stiffening of the spine and its part, although, with time, it may lead to a bent posture.

Additional symptoms may include chronic back pain and severe arthritis of the sacroiliac joints and the lumbosacral spine. Unlike rheumatic arthritis, it doesn’t affect the extremities of the joints.  

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Besides, it also influences the axial skeleton. Moreover, it only causes inflammation of the enthesis. An enthesis is a spot where a tendon inserts the bone. 

Some similar symptoms present in rheumatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, such as morning stiffness, nausea, and fatigue.

Although both have indistinguishable influences on patients’ lives but, with time, persistent pain and mobility can be affected as a result, a person’s life is changed a lot. 

 Ankylosing Spondylitis occurs between 20 to 30 years and is more common among males than females. Unlike RA, it affects the person’s health at the onset of adulthood.  

It can be augmented with exercise, but it is worse at night. Furthermore, it has a lesser impact on health than Rheumatic Arthritis.

Main Differences Between Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis

Both diseases seem pretty similar due to some common symptoms, although they are very different from each other. Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis fall under the class of autoimmune diseases.

However, they are caused because of combat of the body’s own defense due to unknown reasons. Nowadays, these diseases are very common, and many age groups are affected by them.

  1. Rheumatic arthritis affects the musculoskeletal system to the extremities. While Ankylosing Spondylitis affects the mobility of the spine and sacroiliac joints. 
  2. Rheumatic Arthritis doesn’t affect the axial skeleton. On the other hand, Ankylosing Spondylitis does.
  3. Rheumatic Arthritis causes immense inflammation in the synovium or the membrane. Meanwhile, Ankylosing Spondylitis only causes the enthesis.  
  4. Rheumatic Arthritis is prevalent in females rather than males. In contrast, Ankylosing Spondylitis is more common among males than females. 
  5. Rheumatic Arthritis has an eminent influence on health due to heart disease complications. Meanwhile, Ankylosing Spondylitis has a lesser impact on health than Rheumatic Arthritis.  
  6. Rheumatic Arthritis occurs between 30 and 40 years, while Ankylosing Spondylitis occurs between 20 and 30 years. 
Difference Between Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis
References
  1. https://www.clinexprheumatol.org/article.asp?a=3710

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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11 thoughts on “Rheumatic Arthritis vs Ankylosing Spondylitis: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article effectively captures the characteristics and impacts of both Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. It’s a comprehensive resource for individuals looking to deepen their knowledge on these diseases.

    Reply
    • I agree. The age-related differences and effects on health highlight the complexities of these autoimmune diseases. This article is an excellent reference for health professionals and patients alike.

      Reply
    • Absolutely. The detailed breakdown allows for a more nuanced understanding of these diseases, showcasing the importance of early detection and medical intervention.

      Reply
  2. The focus on the impact of Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis on different parts of the body provides valuable knowledge that can contribute to more effective medical management and patient care.

    Reply
  3. The insights into the underlying causes and the complexities of autoimmune diseases are well-explored in this article. It’s a highly informative piece with valuable clinical relevance.

    Reply
  4. Autoimmune diseases affect millions of people around the world and understanding the specific differences between Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis is crucial for diagnosis and treatment. Great overview!

    Reply
    • I completely agree. The detailed comparison provided here helps in laying down the distinctions between these two diseases in a clear and concise manner.

      Reply
  5. The comparison table is particularly useful as it presents the information in a structured and easy-to-understand format. This article provides a comprehensive understanding of both Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.

    Reply
  6. The clear explanations of the symptoms and the age groups affected by each disease provide valuable insights into the differences between Rheumatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis. Well-articulated information.

    Reply
  7. The breakdown of the symptoms and influences on health for both diseases serves as a fundamental reference for medical practitioners and patients seeking clarity on their conditions.

    Reply
  8. The emphasis on the influence on a patient’s health for each disease is enlightening. It underlines the importance of understanding and managing these conditions effectively.

    Reply

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