There are over 100 different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common forms. Both share many symptoms, but there are key differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. An accurate diagnosis is crucial to receiving effective treatment for your type of arthritis.
According to the CDC, an estimated 78 million Americans age 18 or older have some form of arthritis. If you’re experiencing pain, swelling, or stiffness in joints, getting a diagnosis will help you determine the best treatment for you.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is characterized by a wearing away of the protective cartilage lining the ends of bones that meet at joints. The cartilage allows for smooth, frictionless movement. If cartilage begins to thin or wear away, you may experience symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, such as pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Osteoarthritis is often called wear and tear disease because it can develop after incurring a serious joint injury or in old age after joints get worn down from use. Osteoarthritis usually develops gradually and begins in one joint and spreads to others. It commonly affects the hands, lower back, knees, hips, and feet. You can take steps to delay the progression of osteoarthritis by working with a doctor to come up with an effective treatment plan.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by the immune system attacking soft tissues, such as the synovial membrane, which encase the joints and provide lubrication. The synovial membrane becomes inflamed and the synovial fluid dries up, which contributes to the thinning of the cartilage, and results in joint pain and swelling. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects several joints at once and is accompanied by other conditions such as weakness and fatigue, which may come before the onset of the disease. The pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis can get worse over time and is more likely to appear with activity. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the hands, elbows, wrists, knees, and feet.
Finding Relief from Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
For relief from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pain and other symptoms, you need to make an appointment with a primary care doctor who can provide medications, treatments, and lifestyle changes recommendations that can make your life easier. Patients diagnosed with arthritis can live normal and active lives with the right treatments. As with any disease, early treatment yields the best outcomes. Most cases of arthritis can be treated conservatively if diagnosed early and controlled with the help of a doctor.
Arthritis Treatment in Denton and Frisco, TX
If you are experiencing joint pain and stiffness, Dr. Rani Anbarasu of Star Medical Associates provides superior disease management services for patients with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Among other pain-relieving therapies, Dr. Anbarasu uses viscosupplementation — FDA-approved treatment for arthritis of the knee and a customized exercise regimen to improve joint health.
To schedule your appointment with Dr. Anbarasu, call (940) 382-6900 in Denton or (469) 301-2300 in Frisco, or use our convenient online form. We look forward to serving you!