Osteoarthritis typically takes a long time to develop so there is plenty of time to be proactive and learn how to control symptoms, enabling us to lead fuller lives.
What is osteoarthritis?
Occurring in the fingers, toes, knees, hips, base of thumb and spine osteoarthritis is the loss of cartilage (the protective surface over the end of the bone) leading to joints becoming swollen and painful. There is plenty that can be achieved at home to manage symptoms.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease. It also causes swelling, pain and stiffness in joints but can be managed well with drugs if caught early. Initial treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is with pain killers such as paracetamol or codeine alongside anti-inflammatories. Further treatment could be low dose steroids, hydroxychloroquine, or disease modifying drugs such as methotrexate, leflunomide and sulphasalazine.