Although we often tend to lump all types of Arthritis together, it is important to remember that there are two distinct varieties of Arthritis; Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs in the cartilage that cushions the bones as a patient’s joints tend to deteriorate over time. Eventually, the cartilage can wear down completely, leaving bone rubbing on bone, causing the ends of your bones to become damaged and the joints to become painful. Common risk factors include age and gender; women are more likely to develop Osteoarthritis, obesity, and joint injuries such as sports injuries or traumatic injuries from an accident.
Conversely, Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which often causes swelling in the hands, ankles, and feet. Generally, the symptoms are worse in the morning, or after long rest or inactivity. Rheumatoid Arthritis usually occurs in people between 30 and 50 years of age. Comparatively, Osteoarthritis is approximately 20 times more prevalent in the United States than Rheumatoid Arthritis. A simple blood test can often be used to aid in the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Although there is no known cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis, treatment goals seek to reduce joint inflammation and pain, maximize joint function, and prevent joint destruction and deformity. Cortisone can be used to reduce pain and inflammation and more aggressive injections such as gold, to promote disease remission.
Author: Partners of Claims Resources and Solutions LLC publishes this article as a public service. It is provided for general information and is not intended to replace legal advice for specific cases.