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Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis & how it is different from Osteoarthritis & Fibromyalgia arthritis.

  1. Those are BIG questions! Here is a brief explanation as I understand it:

    Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic (whole body) auto-immune disease that causes inflammation in joints and other parts of the body. A person's own immune system causes joint pain and damage, fatigue and other symptoms. A hallmark of RA is the joint pain is bilateral, meaning the disease affects the same joints on both sides of the body. So both wrists or ankles, etc. The inflammation of RA can affect other body systems.

    Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is associated with age, injury or "wear and tear" causing damage of specific joints. It can affect one or multiple joints. I think of it as being mechanical rather than systemic in nature.

    Fibromyalgia is technically not an arthritis. It’s symptoms include widespread pain, fatigue and brain fog, among many other. Fibromyalgia is not associated with inflammation or joint damage. However, it may be associated with chronic painful diseases such as RA or OA.

    Rheumatologists are the go to experts to help with diagnosing and treating these diseases. All three conditions can be very painful, have symptoms that overlap and have a significant affect on your quality of life. Treatment is different for each one. Unfortunatley, it is possible to have a combination of these conditions.

    Here are some articles on our website that can be helpful:

    What is RA?


    Differences between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis


    With Hope and Best Wishes, Jo

    1. I am not endorsing this group, but they do have a nice explanation of the types of Arthritis. This is a midwest treatment center and I have not had expirence with them. But this might be helpful to you:

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