Volume 5 Issue 3

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What's the Difference Between Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis Osteoarthritis usually occurs in older individuals, but can also be caused by repetitive stress or acute trauma. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, can affect you at any age, including children. Fortunately, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is relatively rare. Understanding the differences between the two types of arthritis will help you distinguish which one you have. Osteoarthritis – Degenerative joint disease usually affects the distal joints, or the joints at the end of your fingers and toes, not the middle ones. Additionally, it's not symmetrical, so typically you may have it on just one joint, or on one hand or foot and not the other. Rheumatoid Arthritis – RA, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to break itself down. Therefore, it tends to be bilateral and symmetrical, meaning it's the same on both sides of your body. If you only have a specific joint affected on one side of your body, it is far less likely to be RA. It also affects your middle joints, and is associated with joint deformities, especially your hands and fingers. It can be very crippling, and people do die from rheumatoid arthritis, so it's not something to be treated lightly. Little-Known Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Recent research has identified several lifestyle factors and pre-existing conditions that may increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, including: • Smoking • Obesity • Diabetes As for osteoarthritis, a recent analysis found that the greater a and Abby's Magazine - Volume 5 Issue 3| Page 9

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