Wondering if you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis? Review the overviews below from MedlinePlus and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Be sure to check with your health care provider if you think you may have one of these conditions.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, a result of the immune system attacking the tissues that line the body’s joints. This causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints and the pain is often symmetrical. It is more common in women and in those who are middle aged, but it can happen to anyone.
Osteoarthritis happens over time. It is the most common form of arthritis, and it usually occurs in older people. The protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wear down as you age, making it difficult to move. It usually affects one side of the body. Osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, though it most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips, and spine.