The two most common type of arthritis – rheumatoid and osteoarthritis – are actually two different diseases with very divergent symptoms. Here’s a quick look at some of the differences.
- An autoimmune disease that often strikes in the prime of life (ages 25 to 50)
- May develop within weeks or months.
- Usually affects joints on both sides of the body (such as both knees)
- Causes redness, warmth, and swelling of joints
- Affects many joints, usually small joints of the hands and feet, and may include the elbows, shoulders, knees or ankles
- Can affect the entire body, with general feelings of sickness and fatigue as well as weight loss and fever
- Prolonged morning stiffness
- Causes major fatigue
- The age-related wear and tear of cartilage disease that usually occurs after age 40
- Usually develops slowly over many years.
- Affects isolated joints, or joints on only one side of the body at first.
- Usually doesn’t cause redness or warmth of joints
- Most commonly affects weight-bearing joints (such as the knees and hips)
- Discomfort is usually related to the affected joints
- Brief morning stiffness
- Rarely causes fatigue