Difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumitoid Artritis.

Hi, I have newly been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and am wondering what the difference is between this and Rheumitoid Arthritis ?


  • Al
    Al Member Posts: 169

    Hi and welcome to the forums

    The following link might be of interest

    or any questions please phone our helpline 0800 5200 520


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,245

    Hi Rheumatoid arthritis is different for a lot of reasons to Osteo it is an inflammatory or 'autoimmune' type I have both.

    When the inflammatory types flares it's quite different. I am almost 'ill' I run a temperature and feel queasy (probably the temp) I CANNOT stay awake and my joints get 'stuck' in whatever position I am in. REALLY stuck not stiff stuck. They swell and are hot and red to the touch. Ice packs ease things a little.

    With the OA I do not have a high temperature and my joints hurt more if I overdo things. I am tired, but not unable to stay awake. The joints are painful pretty well all the time and can be stiff particularly after sitting for along time or in the morning. However they usually 'get going' after a warm shower. I find a warm wheatbag helps those joints. Less so ice.

    That of course might just be 'me'!🙂

    The technical differences are probably in the article above I know the damage to the joints is quite different if looked at on scans too.

  • Hi annmchugh2010

    Thank you for posting on the forum and letting us know that you have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. I hope the posts from Al and Toni were helpful to you and the link to ‘What is arthritis’, which talks about the main types.

    Osteoarthritis is a very common condition and is associated with the breakdown of cartilage in our joints and can happen to almost any joint in our body.

    Often, it is most likely to affect our weight bearing joints i.e. knees and feet, our hands are also affected, as they are joints that are used a lot in everyday life. Osteoarthritis is largely self-managed, for more detailed information please look at the link to our Osteoarthritis information.

    Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune condition, ‘This means that the immune system, which is the body’s natural self-defence system, gets confused and starts to attack your body’s healthy tissues’. There are a variety of treatments for rheumatoid arthritis such as disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), in the first instance the doctor would refer a person to a rheumatologist who would prescribe the necessary medications.   

    You are very welcome to give us a call on our helpline: 0800 5200 520 (weekdays 9am – 8pm), here we can take our time and talk further about the condition.

     I hope this is of help

    Best wishes


    Helpline advisor