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Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

One of the most common questions about arthritis: what's the difference between osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis?

Arthritis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the joints, and there are two main types: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). So, what's the difference between Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis?

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at these two conditions and compare and contrast them.

  1. What is Arthritis?
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis
  3. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
  4. What is Osteoarthritis?

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What is Arthritis?

Arthritis isn’t a single disease or condition; it's a general term that refers to inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Although arthritis is most common among women, any person at any age, is susceptible to arthritis.

Arthritis causes incredible discomfort, disability, and permanent joint changes. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, like psoriatic arthritis, all with their own unique symptoms.

Common arthritis symptoms include:

  • swelling
  • mild to chronic pain
  • stiffness
  • diminished range of motion in joints

The most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Psoriatic arthritis (PsA), fibromyalgia, and gout.

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two different types of arthritis. Although they share some similar qualities, each have different symptoms and require separate treatments.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, while Rheumatoid arthritis affects about one-tenth as many people as osteoarthritis.

The main differentiator between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind the joint pain and symptoms.

Osteoarthritis is caused by wear-and-tear on joints and is usually seen in older adults, while Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, causing the body's own immune system to attack the body's joints.

Below are comparisons of Rheumatoid arthritis vs osteoarthritis.

  Rheumatoid Arthritis Osteoarthritis
Age The onset of RA may begin for anyone at any age, at any time. Most commonly seen to begin affecting older later in life.
Timeframe The onset of symptoms can begin to take place in a few weeks to a few months. Wear-and-tear begins slowly over a number of years.
Symptoms Very painful, swollen, stiff joints. Joint aches and pains, usually there is little to no swelling.
Joint Type Can affect large and small joints on both sides of the body. Typically seen in fingers, hips, knees or spine on one side of the body.
Morning Stiffness Usually lasts longer than 1 hour. Usually around 30 minutes and possibly after activity.
Systematic Symptoms (entire body) Present; fatigue, feeling ill

Not present


What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues, affecting more than just your joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels, making it a chronic inflammatory disorder. Other areas that may be affected include:

  • Kidneys
  • Salivary glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Bone marrow

Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

Signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Tender, warm, swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
  • Fatigue, fever and loss of appetite

Senderra Specialty Pharmacy for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) includes medicine, exercise, and lifestyle changes. Receiving treatment early for the disease may help to control the condition or keep it from getting worse.

When treatment with medications are needed, a Rheumatologist may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids (such as prednisone), disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), as well as other biologic medications. Learn more about BioSimilars and immunology.

Senderra Specialty Pharmacy offers specialty medications for Rheumatoid arthritis, including Actemra, Humira, Enbrel, and more.

Click here to learn more about Rheumatoid arthritis Specialty Pharmacy.

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What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis causes tissues in joints to break down over time, including cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and bone.

For some, the pain is relatively mild. However, for others it causes significant pain and disability.

People with osteoarthritis usually experience joint pain after rest or inactivity, or stiffness for a short period of time. The most commonly affected joints include the hands, knees, hips, neck, and lower back.

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, seen most often as people age. Women, typically after menopause, are more likely than men to have osteoarthritis after the age of 50.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis:

  • Pain when using your joints
  • Joint stiffness (usually lasting less than 30 minutes, in the morning or after resting for a period of time)
  • Swelling in and around the joint, especially after a lot of activity or use of that area
  • Changes in the ability to move the joint
  • Feeling that the joint is unstable

Senderra Specialty Pharmacy for Osteoarthritis

Treatment for OA can include physical therapy or exercise, specialty medication, surgery, and supplemental therapies. The main goal in treatment is to relieve pain, maintain joint flexibility, and optimize joint and overall function.

Senderra Specialty Pharmacy offers specialty medications for Osteoarthritis, including Gelsyn-3, Orthovisc, Visco-3, and more.

Click here to learn more about Osteoarthritis Specialty Pharmacy.

Osteoarthritis | Senderra


Why Choose Senderra?

Senderra offers specialized treatments for more than 15 specialties including autoimmune disorders, like Lupus Nephritis, Guillain Barre Syndrome, Sarcoidosis disease, psoriasis, MS, CRSwNP and asthma, gastroenterology, immune system disorders, dermatologic diseases, skin cancer and more.

We put you first.

You deserve to be treated as a person, not a number.

With Senderra, you'll talk with real people who are dedicated to enabling you to get the medications and supporting information you need for your condition.

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About Senderra

Senderra-Logo_Mark-Only_COLOR-1Senderra is a national specialty pharmacy, serving patients with challenging and ongoing medical conditions, like autoimmune disorders, through provision of specialty medicationsclinical expertise and support services

We dedicate ourselves to designing and executing a model to serve the needs of our patients and partners (PrescribersPharma and Payers) in order to make a difference and effect positive outcomes. 




Arthritis Foundation

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