How do you tell if your pain is from RA or osteoarthritis, when you have both?

Have both RA and OA, where is the pain from?


Community Answers
  • Richard Faust moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Libby. RA is a systemic autoimmune disease, while osteoarthritis is a largely a function of wear and tear. One of our contributors wrote this article this article on the differences between RA and osteoarthritis: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/differences-rheumatoid-arthritis-osteoarthritis/. In addition, one of our other contributors wrote this article looking at the difficulty of separating RA from osteoarthritis in terms of symptoms as one ages: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/separating-age/. Hopefully others can chime in with their experiences. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Darene
    8 months ago

    RA is symmetrical; botherhands, feet, etc. The pain from it is usually controlled when th inflammation is controlled from medication. Osteoarthritis can only be treated with antinflammotories. There is no m3dication to control the inflammation because it is not an autoimmune disease..

    Example: I have chronic pain in my neck and back from Osteoarthritis. It’s always present. It is worse at times, like when I’m working. I don’t experience pain all the time with the RA when the inflammation is under control.

    I hope this helps.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Darene. While it is true that RA pain is often symmetrical, as this article with comments from a couple of our contributors notes, that is not always the case: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/ra-pain-symmetrical/. RA often affects each individual differently. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Libby author
    8 months ago

    Thanks for all the great info however my ra pain is not symmetrical that makes it a little bad to tell the difference

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