What’s the Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis?

Flexcin_Blog_Differences_RA_OA-997020-editedWhen people hear “arthritis”, they generally think of rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, and the two are often confused. What is the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis? The truth is, osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are two very different conditions. Both affect the joints and can cause unwanted pain. Here we’ll outline why these two arthritic conditions are different, who they affect, and how. At the end of this post, you’ll be able to differentiate easily between OA and RA.

They are caused by different things. OA is a degenerative condition that happens over time due to excessive wear of the cartilage between the joints. RA, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease caused by a person’s immune system turning on itself and attacking the otherwise healthy joints. RA can occur in any joint, regardless of how often it is used.

The condition starts at different times. RA can begin at any point in life and affects people of all ages and genders. OA tends to start later on in life after damage or wear and tear to the joints has occurred.

The speed of onset is different. RA tends to show symptoms right away and can develop into a full blown and disabling condition over weeks or months. OA slowly progresses over a long period of time and is affected by how much stress is put on the joints.

Joint symptoms are exhibited differently. For people with OA, joints tend to ache and may be tender, but don’t generally cause swelling. RA comes with joints that are painful, swollen, and stiff. RA also affects the whole body, causing fatigue and a general feeling of sickness, while OA does not affect the entire body.

The pattern in which joints are affected is different. For example, RA affects the joints in a symmetrical manner, meaning both hands, both knees, or both wrists. OA often starts on one side of the body and makes its way to the other. Symptoms will start in one limited set of joints such as the thumb joints, then later affect the weight-bearing joints like the hips or knees.

Different medications are used to treat each. This is true and false. The primary goal for both RA and OA is to reduce inflammation and pain, while minimizing damage to the joints. OA is typically treated with over-the-counter painkillers or anti-inflammatories and some people are even prescribed narcotic painkillers. In the case of RA, disease-modifying medications are provided to attempt to stop the immune system from attacking the joints. With both RA and OA, joint supplements are effective for controlling joint pain, strengthening joints, and reducing inflammation.

RA and OA are just two types of arthritis out of many that fall under this title. Although they do have some similarities and can both be treated by using daily joint supplements, they are two extremely different diseases. It’s important to be properly diagnosed by your doctor before attempting a treatment plan. Flexcin offers an all natural way to treat joint pain with our unique joint supplement formula.

Need help choosing a joint supplement? Let us help you! Download our free eBook How To Choose The Right Joint Supplement below.


Flexcin International has been helping people with joint pain since 2000 by making high quality joint supplements based on the ingredient Cetyl Myristoleate (CM8), which holds multiple patents for the treatment of arthritis.You can find more info about Flexcin here, or see our products here.

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