Arthritis and 
arthrosis, or osteoarthrosis, are completely different diseases. They are different even in spite of the fact that they seem very similar to each other, and their symptoms in some cases may coincide. You will learn more about the main differences between arthritis and arthrosis later in our article.

Causes of Arthritis and Arthrosis

In arthritis, the basis of pathogenesis is joint inflammation, which can occur as a result of:

  • Infections
  • Rheumatism ;
  • An allergic or autoimmune reaction.

Arthritis also manifests itself against the background of various injuries or destabilization of metabolic processes (say, gout ). Arthritis can be part of some other ailments (for example, systemic inflammatory diseases, problems with connective tissue or vasculitis, and much more).

Arthrosis is not characterized by inflammatory origin. Its occurrence is associated with destructive changes in the joint itself, as well as in cartilage. The most common causes of arthrosis should include overload on the joint (most often, it is overweight) and commonplace wear of tissues with age. Injuries, destabilization of blood supply and metabolism in the joint can also lead to arthrosis.

Between themselves, arthrosis is divided into primary, which is characterized by the impaired restoration of cartilage cells due to poor blood supply, and secondary, which are formed against the background of an already existing lesion, for example, trauma.

Age factor


Osteoarthritis is a common ailment among older and older people. This is due to the fact that by the age of 60, almost any person can detect minimal dystrophic changes in the joint tissues.

The category of special risk includes:

  • People whose activities are directly related to constant overloads of the joints, for example, with a long stay in an almost stationary position, standing or sitting, as well as with professional sports;
  • Those who have a large excess of weight and various metabolic disorders.

Arthritis usually develops at a much younger age. It is a period of about 35 to 50 years. In the youngest, including children, acute processes are most often formed. We are talking about purulent, allergic and reactive arthritis. In this case, the disease is characterized by a rapid course and a good prognosis of recovery with timely treatment.

In elderly people, arthritis most often forms against a background of arthrosis and can take a lingering, often relapsing character.

The course of the disease

Arthritis can be characterized not only by acute but also by chronic course. Moreover, if an acute process is formed, subsequent compensation of all destructive changes that occurred in the tissues of the joint is likely. If the course of the disease is chronic, then the disease over time provokes irreversible changes in the joint, up to the complete loss of its performance.

The speed with which irreversible changes develop depends on:

  • Causes of joint damage;
  • Frequency of exacerbations;
  • The age of man.

Arthrosis is always a chronic disease. Having begun to manifest itself, changes in the joint area will not disappear anywhere and will systematically lead a person to disability. The only method that makes it possible to slow down the course of the disease should be considered the timely started process of supporting and restoring cartilage. We are talking about chondroprotectors, vitamin complexes, herbal remedies and other means. It is also necessary to follow medical recommendations (adjust excess weight and follow a diet).


Arthritis occurs most often acute, but arthrosis is formed gradually, slowly gaining momentum. It is with this that difficulties are associated with the timely diagnosis of osteoarthrosis. Due to delays in diagnosis and initiation of therapy, irreversible changes in the tissues of the joints usually already develop.

Manifestations of arthritis are always more obvious. This can be intense swelling, unexpected pain, almost complete restriction of movement in the joint. In addition, in the case of arthritis, sharp pains appear at the very beginning of the disease and require the administration of pain medication at the earliest stages. Pain with arthrosis is usually aching, it develops gradually and is directly dependent on how pronounced degenerative changes in the tissues are.

Edema in the case of arthritis is most often sharply indicated, and with osteoarthritis it appears only when inflammation joins. Also, in the case of arthritis, reddening of the skin over the joint that has undergone inflammation often occurs.

Arthritis, unlike arthrosis, is accompanied by signs of intoxication, such as:

  • Fever;
  • Sensation of “aches” in the muscles and joints;
  • Headache.

For arthrosis, the formation of so-called “articular mice”, which are necrotic bone fragments in the joint cavity, is characteristic. With this, the appearance of serious painful sensations and the feeling of “joint seizing” may be associated. The second occurs when these fragments are sandwiched between the articular surfaces.

Treatment methods

Most often, arthrosis is treated at home. If acute arthritis occurs, consult a specialist immediately. In more complex situations, treatment in the hospital or surgical intervention (for example, a puncture of the joint cavity in the case of a purulent process) may be required. Emergency medical support will be appropriate if sudden pain and obvious swelling of the joint suddenly appear, or if painful sensations occur after an injury (fractures and other traumatic injuries should be excluded).

An orthopedic traumatologist is involved in the treatment of arthrosis, and a variety of specialists help get rid of arthritis, depending on the origin of the disease. We are talking about rheumatologists, infectious disease specialists, allergists, immunologists and many others. Light and mild stages of acute arthritis and exacerbation of a chronic ailment can be treated at home.

Thus, the difference between arthritis and arthrosis is obvious and therefore should carefully approach the issue of their diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

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