Video:Is It Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis?with Dr. Robert Fenell
Determining whether you suffer from rheumatoid or osteoarthritis is extremely important, especially when deciding on treatment options. Here are some tips to help you tell whether it is rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.See Transcript
Transcript:Is It Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis?
Hello, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell, founder of HandAndFootClinicsOfAmerica.com and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to talk to you about the differences between rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Tips for Distinguishing Between Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis
One of the most common questions that people may ask is do I have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis? Let's answer that question right now. There are a few signs and symptoms of both of those that you can be aware of, that will help you determine which one you might be suffering with. However, I do encourage you to visit with your primary care doctor to be correctly diagnosed.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis will usually start on one side of the body, affecting one joint at a time, such as a knee, or an elbow or a wrist joint. Whereas with rheumatoid arthritis, you may be experiencing pain in both hands, or pain in both knees, and you'll notice this usually in earlier times of the day, within 1 to 2 hours upon awakening. On the flip side, osteoarthritis won't hurt as much in the morning as it does later in the day, or after a long, enduring day at work.
Severity of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is also known as Degenerative Joint Disease or Degenerative Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is known as Inflammatory Arthritis. So, where osteoarthritis is involving the joint only, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the organs and circulatory system. It often does and will get worse as the patient ages. Although osteoarthritis is a lot more common than rheumatoid, rheumatoid arthritis has a lot more severity in its implication, especially later as the disease process continues.
Location of Pain in Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis will many times affect the small bones and joints of the hands and feet, whereas osteoarthritis can, but more commonly will affect the knees, the spine, or possibly the shoulders. And it is not at all impossible to be experiencing both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis at the same exact time. You see, if you're suffering with rheumatoid arthritis, you can still develop the same degenerative process that somebody without rheumatoid arthritis can also develop. When osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are both present simultaneously, the condition and symptomatology can be that much more extreme.
Consult a Doctor to Determine Between Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
If you have any questions about your joint condition, be certain to sit down and talk to your doctor about what’s going on, so they can help you on finding the right solution to get to the bottom line and take care of things, so you can enjoy life to the fullest.
Thanks so much for joining me today. If you would like to find out more, please visit us online at About.com.