Many people who suffer from joint problems find it hard to differentiate between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. These two sicknesses, though similar are not one and the same thing. Rheumatoid arthritis affects small joints found on the hands, feet and wrists. On the other hand, osteoarthritis normally occurs in large joints such as the hips and knees.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an inflammation, while osteoarthritis occurs due to the effects of tear and wear of joints. The stiffness that comes with osteoarthritis lasts just a few minutes. However, in rheumatoid arthritis, the stiffness can last more than 30 minutes.