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2 Types of Arthritis: How They Impact You and What You Need to Know

The following article is from the Canadian Chiropractic Association website. Author: CCA Staff Team
Arthritis is one of the most common conditions affecting the joints worldwide.1 In Latin, arthro- means joint and –itis means inflammation, so together arthritis means inflammation of a joint. Two common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While they might sound similar, they have very different causes and symptoms.

OSTEOARTHRITIS

What is it?
Osteoarthritis is characterized by “wear and tear” of the cartilage on either end of the bone.1 With time, the cartilage may break down causing the two ends of the joints to rub against each other.

Who does it affect?
Osteoarthritis is more common in individuals over the age of 65.1 Other factors that can contribute to (or even speed up) the wear and tear of osteoarthritis are obesity, injury, and overuse, and genetic factors.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include morning stiffness, pain that decreases with movement, swelling, and clicking or cracking within the joint itself.

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

What is it?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can affect the entire body. The body’s own immune system mistakenly identifies normal joints as “abnormal,” resulting in an inflammation which can be extensive and painful. If the inflammation is not controlled, damage to the surrounding cartilage and bone within the joint can occur.

Who does it affect?
Rheumatoid arthritis is more common in females around the ages of 30–60 years old.2

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are similar to those of osteoarthritis, however, a key difference is that pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis generally does not resolve or see improvement with movement or exercises.

TIPS FOR TREATMENT

Arthritis can often be managed well with conservative therapy like specific exercises for the affected areas and self-care as well as manual therapy by your chiropractor. However, getting treatment from a combination of various healthcare providers may be needed. If you are experiencing discomfort in your joints, or would like more information about arthritis, visit your family chiropractor.

References

1. Arthritis facts. Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/arthritis-statistics-facts.php. Accessed August 29, 2017.
2. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid Arthritis website. Available at: https://www.rheumatoidarthritis.org/ra/. Accessed August 29, 2017.

 

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