Diseases of the joints are very common lately. And most often the joints are affected by arthritis and arthrosis. Both ailments, despite similar names, mean different pathological processes in the cartilaginous tissue.
When a person moves, the cartilage helps the bone heads in the joints rotate freely, reducing friction to zero. If a person is jumping, then the cartilage serves as shock absorbers, minimizing the physical stress on the joints.
Due to arthritis, arthrosis, the work of the joints is disrupted, and a person cannot move normally. Judging by the symptoms, they are identical in both cases, but the factors leading to diseases are different.
What is the difference between arthritis and arthrosis?
The difference between arthritis of the joints is accompanied by an inflammatory process that can affect one or more joints, that is, in fact, arthritis means that there is inflammation in one or more joints. This can be the hip, shoulder, elbow joints, hands, toes, and so on. It should be noted that in old age people most often suffer from arthritis of the knee joint.
Also, arthritis is characterized by swelling of the affected joints, the skin at the site of which may acquire a reddish tint. An increase in general and local body temperature is often observed, and physical activity in a sore spot decreases.
The reasons that cause arthrosis or arthritis can be various factors, ranging from allergies and infection in the body, and ending with a violation of material metabolism and injury to joints.
The most insidious manifestation of arthritis is the spread of inflammation to several joints at once. In this case, the patient may feel pain that passes from one joint to another. However, with this form of the disease, the surface of the joints is not disturbed.
Regarding the age categories of the disease, it is worth noting that arthritis is considered a senile disease. However, today the disease is increasingly found in younger people, including adolescents and children. Arthritis is often observed in women of middle age - 35-50 years. Generally speaking, according to statistics, joint inflammation is diagnosed in every fifth person on Earth.
In fact, the difference between arthrosis and arthritis is that the former is characterized by a process of degenerative destruction of cartilage tissue, while arthritis is, in fact, a process of joint inflammation. It is these two signs that answer the question of how arthritis differs from arthrosis.
The causes of arthrosis and arthritis. Differences
In medical science, two stages of arthrosis are distinguished: primary and secondary. The primary form is also called Still's disease. Often, the causes of the disease are difficult to identify. The disease occurs more often in older people, manifesting itself in the form of lesions of the hip, shoulder or knee joints.
If we are talking about a secondary form of arthrosis, then its causes, as a rule, are serious diseases that have been transferred. In addition, people at risk of developing secondary arthrosis are people to whom the disease is transmitted genetically.
Osteoarthritis is common in obese people. Joint lesions can also occur in those who are constantly exposed to heavy physical exertion. Sometimes joints in people with disorders in the work of the endocrine system hurt.
Inflammation is seen in arthritis. The disease can also be primary or secondary.
Primary arthritis can be found as a consequence of rheumatism, spondylosis, after the primary form of arthrosis, gout. This group also includes septic arthritis, which is caused by infection with harmful microorganisms.
The secondary form of arthritis includes joint damage caused by such diseases:
- systemic lupus erythematosus;
- reactive arthropathy;
As for arthrosis, in most cases it affects the thumbs on the lower extremities. But degenerative disorders in groups of large joints are not excluded. So in patients, osteoarthritis of the shoulder, knee, hip joint and even the spinal column can be observed.
Somewhat less often, arthrosis is detected on the ankles, arms and hands. Sometimes there are cases of diseases of small articular groups of the limbs.
In arthritis, it is mostly the small joints that are affected, especially the hands.
Symptoms of arthritis and arthrosis. What is the difference?
Although there are many differences between arthritis and arthrosis, however, both the first and the second case, the patient may experience severe pain in the affected areas. Although pain syndrome is observed in both cases, its symptoms differ. So, pain in arthrosis often occurs when a person begins to move. Also, pain can appear with prolonged walking or after heavy physical exertion.
With arthrosis, at first, the pain is not very pronounced, and often people do not attach importance to this, attributing the ailment to ordinary fatigue. However, this may be the first sign of degenerative disorders in the cartilage tissue of the joints. With the passage of time and the progression of the disease, pain begins to disturb even with a very small load.
If arthrosis is not properly treated, then the patient begins to suffer pain even when he just sits or lies. This condition is characterized as the third degree of arthrosis. When changing the position of the body, the pain may subside a little.
If a person has arthritis, then the pains do not stop and are quite acute. Most often, pain occurs at night or in the morning.
Signs of arthritis are expressed by stiffness in the affected area. With arthrosis, this phenomenon is not observed. Arthritic changes in the cartilage tissue of the joints can be more recognized by a distinct crunch in the diseased areas.
Crackling in the joints is a clear manifestation of arthrosis. It appears due to the fact that the cartilaginous layers begin to collapse, and the bones rub against one another. The more distinct the crunch is, the more severe is the form of arthrosis of the joints, that is, their destruction.
It is also worth noting that the difference between arthrosis and arthritis lies in the fact that with arthrosis, a decrease in mobility is observed only in the affected area, while with arthritis, the patient may feel stiffness throughout the body.
Also, the diseases differ in that with arthrosis, the joints are deformed, but there is no swelling, which is characteristic of arthritis.
Swelling and swelling during arthritis is due to inflammation in the joint tissue. Seals in the form of so-called nodules may also appear under the skin. Fever often appears in the affected area.
In addition to inflammation, fever and swelling, arthritis can also show the following symptoms:
- inflammation of the eyes;
- chills or excessive sweating;
- general weakness;
- unpleasant discharge from the genitals.
How are arthritis and arthrosis treated?
Although there is a difference between arthrosis and arthritis, the therapy for these diseases is largely similar, because in both cases we are talking about disorders in the articular tissues. However, there are excellent treatments available.
To cure, for example, arthritis of the hands or lower extremities, a method is used to block inflammation and restore immunity. If a person is diagnosed with arthrosis, then the main goal of treatment is the regeneration of diseased cartilage and the normalization of blood circulation in the joints.
When asked who treats such diseases, it is worth answering that orthopedists and traumatologists deal with arthrosis, while arthritis requires observation by doctors of various specializations, including a rheumatologist, immunologist, therapist, traumatologist and other doctors, depending on the specific form of the disease. To undergo an examination by many specialists is required when such a form of the disease as polyarthritis is detected.
For effective treatment of arthritis and arthrosis, patients must adhere to a certain diet. At the same time, it is highly undesirable to consume alcoholic beverages and be subjected to excessive physical exertion.
The main principle of therapy is the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and in some cases, antibiotics. Physical therapy, physiotherapy procedures are used as additional techniques. There is nothing wrong with the use of traditional medicine, if they are not prohibited by the attending physician.
To combat degenerative changes, in particular from arthrosis of the knee joint, drug therapy is used, which includes the use of pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, less often hormonal drugs. With complete destruction of the joints, arthroplasty or joint replacement can be prescribed.