Arthritis and osteoarthritis: symptoms, prevention and treatment

At first glance, osteoarthritis and arthritis are very similar, but these diseases differ significantly. Today we will talk about what are the symptoms of these diseases and what methods of prevention will help prevent the disease.

What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Both arthritis and osteoarthritis damage the joints, but these are different diseases. If only the joints are affected in osteoarthritis, then arthritis implies an inflammatory process throughout the body. Inflammation can be caused by an infection, an abnormal immune system or metabolic disorders. Therefore, this disease often affects not only the joints but also the internal organs: liver, kidneys, heart.

The age group in which the diseases are most common also differs: arthritis usually occurs before the age of 40, while osteoarthritis mainly affects the elderly.

arthritis and osteoarthritis of the knee joint

Symptoms of osteoarthritis and arthritis

1. Pain

This is one of the main signs of osteoarthritis and arthritis, but the nature of the pain in these diseases is different. Thus, in osteoarthritis the pain is manifested mainly only during movement and strong additional load, while it may not be very strong (especially in the first stage of the disease). That is why people often do not pay attention to this when starting the disease. In the second stage, the pain manifests itself with a light load, and in the third - even at rest. However, it can subside if one manages to enter a comfortable position.

But in the case of arthritis, the pain at rest does not subside. Night pains are especially characteristic of arthritis - between three and five o'clock in the morning.

2. Crunching

Cartilage in osteoarthritis occurs due to the fact that the cartilage layer is destroyed and there is friction of the bones. However, if your joints sometimes crunch, this is not a cause for panic. Cartilage in osteoarthritis has a specific sound: it is not a light click, but a rough, dry one. The higher the stage, the stronger the crunch in the joint.

3. Reduced mobility and stiffness

In osteoarthritis, the range of motion in the affected joint decreases. Arthritis is characterized by stiffness throughout the body or joint.

4. Deformation

In osteoarthritis, the appearance of the joint changes, but in this case there is no swelling, as in arthritis. Symptoms of arthritis may include inflammation, swelling, tightness, and fever at the site of inflammation (may feel hot to the touch).

joint deformity with arthritis and osteoarthritis

In arthritis, inflammation of the joints can be accompanied by:

  • temperature rise;
  • psoriasis;
  • inflammation of the eyes (as if there is sand in the eyes);
  • chills or excessive sweating;
  • weakness;
  • separation from the genitals.

Prevention of arthritis and osteoarthritis

Moderate physical activity

Any moderate load helps to lose weight, increase blood circulation, strengthen the muscular corset, which is very important for the prevention of osteoarthritis and arthritis. Here, however, it is important to be careful: excessive stress on the joints, injuries or improper performance of some exercises, on the contrary, can lead to problems. That is why it is initially necessary to conduct classes with a doctor or instructor. However, for prevention you can perform the so-called joint gymnastics - it is quite simple and does not require special equipment. Swimming in the pool is also good, as the load on the joints is much less in the water.


We are talking specifically about the prevention of osteoarthritis and arthritis. If you have already been diagnosed with one of the diagnoses, then you can practice only after consulting a doctor (and in the acute period training is completely contraindicated! ) And only under the supervision of a physiotherapist who will develop an individual training program for you.

Proper nutrition

It is also worth reconsidering your attitude towards nutrition. To prevent osteoarthritis and arthritis, it is better to give up red meat and foods high in fat. It is good if fish and seafood, vegetables and fruits are present in your diet. Cartilage and gelatin (like meat jelly) are also good for bones. In addition, doctors recommend increasing water intake to two to three liters per day.

Give up alcohol. You can start taking vitamins (groups A, D, B) and calcium.

proper nutrition for the prevention of arthritis and osteoarthritis

Also, the prevention of osteoarthritis and arthritis can be:

  • protection of joints from hypothermia;
  • wearing shoes with comfortable heels with the help of individual orthopedic insoles;
  • turn off the crossing of the legs while sitting;
  • weight control;
  • healthy lifestyle, rest and sleep regime, elimination of stress.

Treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis

An integrated approach to the treatment of these diseases is important. First of all, the load on the joints is limited. In arthritis, anti-inflammatory drugs (including hormonal) are used - ointments, injections. Physical therapy, orthopedic regime, medical diet, physiotherapy are used.

One of the procedures that can be prescribed to treat osteoarthritis and arthritis is the administration of platelet-rich plasma to the patient (plasmapheresis). The goal is to make the cartilage in the joint more elastic and resistant to stress, to reduce pain.

The sequence is simple: the patient's blood is taken from a vein in special tubes, processed in a centrifuge and then injected directly into the joint. After the procedure, the patient should limit physical activity during the day. The introduction of platelets into the joint stimulates the repair of damaged areas of cartilage. This procedure is practically painless.