Common signs and symptoms of arthritis and osteoarthritis: what is the difference and how to treat joint pathologies

People of different ages, especially after 40-50 years, often have joint problems, but without the help of a specialist it is difficult to determine which disease is developing. Common diseases are arthritis and osteoarthritis. What is the difference, how to treat, how to prevent joint pathologies?

The advice of specialists in the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system will be useful to many people. It is important to understand how to recognize arthritis and osteoarthritis in order for treatment to be successful.

General signs

knee pain with arthritis and osteoarthritis

Articular pathologies have a common root in the name. Translated from the Greek "arthron" means "knot".

Osteoarthritis and arthritis are joint injuries. The pathological process is accompanied by discomfort, pain, damage to cartilage tissue, mobility of the problem area is limited. Both arthritis and osteoarthritis disrupt the patient's normal course of life.

When differentiating diseases, it is important to consider all the signs, to make the necessary studies and analyzes.

Articular pathologies have many changes, misdiagnosis reduces the quality of treatment.

Basic information on joint pathologies

It is important to understand not only the similar and distinctive signs of osteoarthritis and arthritis, but also the causes, types and features of the course of articular pathologies. Understanding the provocative factors, under the influence of which negative processes begin in cartilage tissues, will help prevent disease.

Arthritis arthrosis
reason Inflammation on the background of systemic pathology or joint tissue infection Cartilage destruction during tissue dressing, most often in old age. Improper metabolism causes loss of elasticity, changes in cartilage structure, erosion, partial or complete destruction of cartilage tissue.
Provocative factors Infectious diseases, allergies, injuries, hypothermia, disruptions in metabolic processes, heredity, stress, lack of vitamins Aging of the body, excess weight, injuries, malnutrition, autoimmune pathologies, deterioration of the blood supply to cartilage and bone tissue, inflammatory processes in the body, thyroid gland dysfunction, excessive joint stress, hypothermia, hereditary predisposition
Types of pathology monoarthritis, polyarthritis Primary (nutrient deficient cartilage damage, poor blood circulation). Secondary - the disease develops in the affected joint, most often after injury
Forms of the disease Purulent, rheumatoid, juvenile, gout Four stages: from a slight narrowing of the wrist space to a noticeable deformation with complete closure of the joint space.
Complications Prolonged presence of an infectious agent in the joints and other organs impairs health, reduces immunity. The mobility of the limbs is impaired, during periods of irritation, the tissues swell, hurt, it is difficult to perform many familiar movements. In the absence of treatment: complete destruction of the joints, immobilization of the limbs, negative changes in the intervertebral discs.
prediction With timely treatment, elimination of the inflammatory process, many types of arthritis can be completely cured. The disease is difficult to treat, in most cases it becomes chronic. Osteoarthritis is an irreversible process, it is impossible to restore cartilage tissue quality by 100%. Competent therapy improves the condition of the cartilage, preserves the functioning of the limbs, but if certain rules are violated, the disease progresses.

What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis

Articular pathologies have more differences than similar signs. It is easy to distinguish arthritis from osteoarthritis with knowledge of the etiology of the disease.

Patient information:

  • arthritis develops against the background of an inflammatory process in the joints, osteoarthritis is a consequence of degenerative processes, degenerative changes in cartilage tissues;
  • both pathologies have an acute and chronic form, but arthritis occurs with more pronounced symptoms, the inflammation actively spreads not only to the joints, but also to other areas;
  • osteoarthritis is a prolonged disease, remission is longer, cartilage is gradually destroyed without severe tissue inflammation.

The table describes the changes in articular pathologies according to the main characteristics:

Arthritis arthrosis
The cause of pathological changes Infection that provokes acute and chronic inflammation Degenerative-dystrophic changes, gradual destruction of cartilage tissue. The main reason is the negative processes against the background of aging of the body.
Nature of pathology More acute than osteoarthritis, remission alternates with active inflammation Prolonged, more often, sluggish, with periods of irritation
affected area The infection spreads far beyond the wrist area. Develops monoarthritis (in one joint), polyarthritis (some areas rest, for example, finger arthritis) Articular tissue in one area, for example, osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Other organs are not involved in the destructive process
Localization area Small joints: wrists, fingers, hands, ankles. The knee area is also at risk Large joints: groin, knee, big toes, less commonly, phalanges of the toes and ankle
Age of patients Most often - up to 40 years The main category is people aged 45 and over, most often 55-60 years old
Risk group Young people. The development of the disease is associated with dangerous bacterial and viral infections, injuries of the limbs. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed in children and adolescents Women after 45-50 years. Degenerative processes take place against the background of menopause. In men, dystrophic changes in cartilage often develop against the background of a high load on the joints during life with the difficult nature of work associated with weight lifting, monotonous movements.

How to distinguish by symptoms

the doctor examines the joints for arthritis and osteoarthritis

It is easier to recognize the onset of the disease with an infectious type of pathological changes.

Osteoarthritis often does not manifest for a long time, often patients come to the doctor with a second, moderate stage of the disease.

Pay attention to the main signs of joint pathologies. Even a slight discomfort in the joints should raise the suspicion of the development of negative processes in cartilage tissue.

Accurate and timely diagnosis helps both to distinguish arthritis from osteoarthritis and to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Symptoms of arthritis:

  • swelling or severe swelling of the problem area;
  • the skin in the affected area becomes red;
  • the diseased joint becomes inflamed;
  • the affected area is hot to the touch, with active inflammation, penetration of a dangerous pathogen, general temperature rises;
  • when moving, a sharp pain is heard, at rest, pulsation, "trembling", the pain in the area of inflammation does not disappear;
  • often the infection affects other parts of the body, the health condition worsens, weakness develops, chronic pathologies become more active;
  • negative processes often develop in the fingers, hands, ankle, less frequently in the knees.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis:

  • the wavy nature of the pain. At an early stage, the pain is weak, the intensity does not increase for a long time;
  • gradually the pain increases, in the morning stiffness is heard in the problematic joints;
  • as dystrophic changes develop, the mobility of the affected area decreases; in advanced cases, complete immobility is possible due to cartilage destruction;
  • the main sites of localization are the hip joints (coxarthrosis), the spine (spondylarthrosis), the knees (gonarthrosis).

The main methods of treating diseases

Patients often believe that the "tested" prescription for arthritis, proposed by a neighbor, will certainly help with osteoarthritis. Ignorance of the nature of the disease often damages the joints, worsens the condition of the body.

therapeutic compress for arthritis and osteoarthritis

For example, in arthritis, there is an active inflammatory process, the infection spreads to a large area of tissue. Heating is strictly forbidden, but often patients warm their arthritic knees in the hope of healing. The result is quite the opposite: the heat accelerates the development of the inflammatory process, the infection penetrates with the flow of blood and lymph to new parts of the joints, other organs, the disease progresses.

The main differences in the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis are related to the nature of pathological processes. The scheme of therapy, the use of drugs, folk methods, the complex of exercise therapy, physiotherapy is developed by a rheumatologist, orthopedist or arthrologist. In the advanced stages of osteoarthritis (rarely, with arthritis), the help of an orthopedic surgeon is needed.

Information for patients! With osteoarthritis, warm compresses are effective, cold compresses are recommended to relieve inflammation in arthritis.

Treatment of osteoarthritis

Basic principles:

  • the main task is to normalize the condition of cartilage tissue. The doctor prescribes chondroprotectors with hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. A long course of treatment improves the elasticity of cartilage tissue, restores blood circulation, metabolism, stops degenerative-dystrophic processes;
  • in severe cases, NSAID group drugs are needed to relieve the pain, to eliminate the inflammation that has developed during the erosion of the articular tissue. But as the main tool in the treatment of osteoarthritis, they are ineffective;
  • physiotherapeutic procedures, special exercises are useful;
  • patients successfully apply traditional methods. Household ointments, decoctions, compresses, baths, tinctures are made from natural ingredients. Proper use of compounds relieves pain, improves joint mobility;
  • with complete destruction of cartilage tissue, surgical treatment is performed - arthroplasty. Osteoarthritis can not be completely cured, you can only maintain the health of the joints, prevent irritations.

arthritis therapy

Basic principles:

  • the first stage is the fight against pathogenic bacteria, dangerous viruses, under the influence of which the inflammatory process began. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are required;
  • it is important not only to destroy the causative agent of the infection, but also to strengthen the immune system;
  • recommended protein diet, vitamin therapy, dairy products. It is mandatory to refuse alcohol, strong coffee, carbonated sweet drinks, black tea (preferably green);
  • physiotherapy gives an excellent effect: electrophoresis with anti-inflammatory drugs, magnetic and laser therapy, therapeutic baths. After stopping the inflammatory process, the complex of exercise therapy, massage will help restore the mobility of the diseased joint. Useful popular methods without the use of heat.

There is a significant difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis. Knowing the characteristics of joint diseases will help the patient to control the course of the pathological process, to competently use all available methods of treatment. Under the guidance of an experienced physician, you can cope with any joint pathology.