Arthritis Basics

Arthritis, Featured Article, Healthy Aging, Healthy Living
on November 22, 2010

How are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis different? Read on and find out.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that happens when joint cartilage breaks down from excessive wear and tear. Without cartilage as a cushion, bone rubs on bone, which causes the pain. Risk factors include aging, injury, repetitive motions, being overweight and genetics.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic systemic disease that may affect organs as well as joints throughout the body. It is characterized by inflammation of the membrane lining the joint, which causes pain, stiffness, warmth, redness and swelling. Of the 2 million Americans affected by rheumatoid arthritis, 75 percent are women.