Not All Arthritis Is Created Equally: Understanding the Differences

Posted on March 10, 2017 by Family Physicians in Trinity

Not All Arthritis Is Created Equally: Understanding the Differences

Not all arthritis is created equally, and in fact the term “arthritis” is actually an umbrella term that encompasses 100 types of joint diseases. More than 53 million adults and 300,000 children in the United States struggle with arthritis, making it one of the most common health conditions. Any joint disease like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can have major impacts on the body over time, so it is critically important that you understand the signs and symptoms and seek treatment as early as possible.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, the most common joint disease, is also known as the “wear and tear arthritis, because it occurs as cartilage in the joints breaks down and forces the bones to rub together. Though any joint can succumb to OA, the most commonly impacted joints include the knees, hips, fingers, and lower back and neck. This becomes a very painful disease because normally rubbery cartilage covers the end of each bone and provides a smooth surface for the joints to glide and move. As OA forces degeneration of that cartilage, the bones scrape together and cause incredible pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune arthritis that forms when the body’s immune system incorrectly targets health tissue as a foreign invader. Over time, RA causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the wrists, hands, and feet. This pain is usually worst in the morning. Though there is still no widely accepted cure for RA, different medications can help to minimize symptoms and even stop the body’s autoimmune responses.

The sooner you identify and begin to treat your arthritis, the more control you can have over its impacts on your life. Certain lifestyle changes and medical treatments can help prevent your arthritis from significantly worsening, and there are even ground-breaking regenerative medicine treatments on the horizon that offer the promise of curing arthritis by helping the body regenerate damaged tissue.

Just contact Family Physicians of Trinity in Port Richey and Trinity, Florida, to get the arthritis support you need. Family Physicians of Trinity offers excellent medical care, using the whole-body principles of osteopathic medicine. Give them a call today at 727-861-7043 to make your appointment.