Arthritis and arthrosis which is also called osteoarthritis are joint diseases with consonant names. Often, uninitiated people consider these medical terms synonyms for one pathology. This is actually a big mistake. Arthritis, arthrosis are different diseases, how do they differ from each other?
Arthritis – an inflammatory disease of the joints
Arthritis is diagnosed with inflammation of the tissues of the joint. In most cases, the disease is a complication of some other pathologies of the internal organs or a consequence of disturbances in the processes occurring in the body. Probable causes of arthritis: infectious diseases, impaired functioning of the immune system, injuries, allergic reactions. The inflammatory process can begin in one joint or several at once. The disease is insidious in its unpredictable course. With arthritis, periods of “relief” can occur, after which the joint becomes inflamed again. You can get sick at any age. Today, this diagnosis is often made to fairly young people (under the age of 40). With age, the risk of joint pathologies increases. And yet, older people are more often diagnosed with a different disease with a very similar name.
The whole truth about arthrosis
Arthrosis is a degenerative disease characterized by joint deformation. The main difference between this pathology and arthritis is that it is characteristic only of the joints. Arthrosis is a disease in which only cartilage tissue on the articular surfaces is affected. With this diagnosis, disturbances in the work of internal organs and body systems may not be observed. Arthrosis is considered an age-related disease, most often it is diagnosed in people over 50 years old. Pathology develops against the background of natural wear of the joint, metabolic disorders. The changes occurring during arthrosis are irreversible. In the absence of proper treatment, various complications are possible, the most serious of which is the complete destruction of the affected joint. Despite the different nature, arthritis and arthrosis can be interconnected. One disease may be a complication of the second. For example, in the joint deformed by arthrosis, an inflammatory process may begin – arthrosis. Or the opposite situation: cartilage tissue undergoes pathological changes after inflammation. In this case, arthrosis is a consequence of arthritis.
Differences in symptoms of arthritis and arthrosis
The main symptom of any pathology of the musculoskeletal system is painful sensations. Arthrosis occurs with a constant feeling of discomfort. The pain will intensify with the development of the disease and differ from the sensations during normal overstrain. What is the difference between arthritis and arthrosis in symptoms? During inflammatory processes, painful sensations appear only during an exacerbation of the disease. If the diagnosis is arthrosis, the pain worsens after physical exertion. Arthritis is manifested by joint pain in combination with local edema, local redness of the skin, possibly an increase in body temperature. Another common symptom is impaired mobility. With arthritis, the stiffness of the movements of the affected joint passes with inflammation. Arthrosis leads to irreversible changes. Symptoms of this pathology: crunching, snapping of a joint when moving. An experienced doctor can make the correct diagnosis after a visual examination and conversation with the patient. To confirm it and determine the degree of damage, additional examinations are prescribed.
Modern methods for the diagnosis of arthritis and arthrosis
A blood test is necessary for any examination. The main difference between arthritis and arthrosis is the presence of inflammation. A laboratory blood test will help determine an increase in ESR (a sign of an inflammatory process); the amount of eosinophils in excess of the norm (allergic reaction); assess the level of leukocytes and immune complexes. To prescribe appropriate therapy, an x-ray of the affected joint should also be done. In the picture, you can examine in detail the degree of deformation, as well as the general configuration of the node of interest. Additionally, an ultrasound examination can be scheduled, during which it is possible to assess the condition of the soft tissues. The most modern and most informative diagnostic option for arthritis and arthrosis is MRI. This technology allows a detailed study of the condition of any joints.
Joint treatment options
A good treatment for arthrosis is based on the fight against inflammation and infection. Anti-inflammatory and hormonal drugs, antibiotics are prescribed depending on the stage of the disease. For individual indications, topical preparations (ointments, rubbing), tablets or injections can be prescribed. Drug therapy for arthrosis necessarily includes the use of chondroprotectors – agents that stimulate the restoration of connective tissue. What is the treatment for serious stages of the disease? Significant deformities may require surgery and/or prosthetics. Throughout the course of treatment, the patient must comply with all the recommendations of the attending physician. As an addition to the main therapy, physical therapy classes, massages are prescribed. These auxiliary methods of treatment are quite effective for arthritis and arthrosis. Traditional medicine has a large number of recipes for getting rid of joint diseases. Unfortunately, not all homemade drugs are safe and effective. Before using any folk remedies, consult with a specialist.
The best treatment is prevention
It is possible to prolong youth and joint health by observing the rules of good nutrition. Try to eat healthy, varied foods. Minimize the presence on your table of fatty, too sweet dishes, control the consumption of salt, alcohol. The factor provoking the development of joint pathologies is overweight. Keeping in good shape is the key to good health. An active lifestyle, moderate regular exercise significantly reduces the risk of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Try to remember a simple rule: overloading the joints is as harmful as leading a passive lifestyle. It is advisable to undergo preventive examinations at least 1 time per year. Now you know how arthritis differs from arthrosis, what symptoms both diseases have. Did you feel discomfort while moving or did the joint begin to crackle? It’s time to see a doctor! The sooner you start treatment, the greater the chances of a successful and quick recovery.
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