Arthritis is characterized as a disease the causes inflammation of the joints. Although osteoarthritis is very common, it’s more wear-and-tear disease which usually progresses with age. When people talk about inflammation and arthritis, they are very often talking about rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is recognized as the most crippling or disabling type of arthritis. There are a couple of significant differences between the two conditions.
OA is also referred to as a degenerative joint disease which is caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones that form a joint. Cartilage loss can cause bone to rub on bone in a joint – a condition that is very painful.
RA is a chronic, inflammatory type of arthritis which is also classified as an autoimmune disease. Your body has an immune system that protects you from foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria. Some people see their immune system go into overdrive, and the white blood cells and chemicals that protect the body from outside sources of infection begin to attack the body’s own cells.
Your body receives a signal to release certain chemicals and, as part of the protection plan, blood flow increases around the area that the body thinks needs protection—in this case, your joints. This increase in blood flow brings an excess of immune cells to the joint area. When the damage first starts, there is little outward evidence of joint damage, but it can be detected by x-ray.
Medications that reduce inflammation include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, Celebrex, and aspirin
- Prednisone or similar steroids
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs such as methotrexate and sulfasalazine
- Biologic response modifiers such as abatacept and etanercept, among others.
South Florida Medical Research is currently conduction the PRECISION Study for people suffering from OA/RA. For more information please call our office at 305-931-8080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org