The two types of arthritis that are commonly confused are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. So what’s the difference?
Osteoarthritis most commonly involves the larger weight bearing joints (such as the spine, hips and knees). It usually presents later in life (over 50 years) and is the result of wear and tear of the joints. This process involves wearing down of the cartilage which sits within the joint space. Osteoarthritis is hence part of our normal aging process, like our grey hair!!
Rheumatoid arthritis is a process that commonly affects the hands and feet. It usually presents between 30-40 years of age and is the result of our body’s immune system attacking the outer lining of our joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is therefore not part of the normal aging process but rather a disease process.
So to summaries osteoarthritis is a normal ageing process that predominantly affects large weight bearing joints whilst rheumatoid arthritis is a disease process which predominantly affect the hands and feet.