How osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis differ
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic inflammatory disease, which means this disease is throughout the body and not just with the joints. The joints do suffer inflammation but not degeneration. In rheumatoid arthritis there is inflammation in the tissue that surrounds and lines the joint and this inflammation causes stiffness, pain and swelling (fluid build up). People with rheumatoid arthritis have much more stiffness in their joints than somebody with osteoarthritis.

On awakening stiffness can last for about 2 hours after getting up.

In rheumatoid arthritis, the systemic nature of the disease causes inflammation that can create fatigue, weakness, anaemia and other sorts of things that make the sufferer feel ill beyond just what’s going on in their joints. A rheumatoid nodule is a collection of inflammatory tissue or inflammatory cells that may appear in the body in other places besides the joints.

Due to the systemic nature the inflammation the disease comes with other cardiovascular disease.

Osteoarthritis is not systemic, it affect the joints and is degenerative basically causing wear and tear. The cartilage that lines the joints begins to wear out, as this happens you begin to get bone spurs and changes in the bone around that joint limiting its function with increased pain in that joint.

On awakening stiffness can last for about 15 to 20 minutes after getting up due to less inflammation compared to rheumatoid arthritis.

In osteoarthritis the process is limited to the joints as it’s a degenerative condition of the actual joints. There’s no impact on the rest of the body other than what happens around the joints that are involved.