Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis. Nearly 14 percent of U.S. adults have osteoarthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It affects women more than men and is a leading cause of disability. The classic signs of osteoarthritis are pain — particularly with activity — as well as swelling and stiffness in the joints.
If you suspect you have osteoarthritis, these questions for your doctor may be helpful:
What’s the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition of the joints, says Dr. Samuels. “Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that most often affects the joints, but can affect other organ systems as well."
Age is one of the biggest risk factors for osteoarthritis: About one-third of people with osteoarthritis are over 55, says Samuels. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, primarily affects women of childbearing age.
Another difference between the two is that they usually affect joints in the hands. Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the joints near the fingernails and at the base of the thumb, while rheumatoid arthritis affects the joints near the middle and base of the fingers.
Click here to read more of the questions you can ask your OSS Burbank Doctor: http://www.everydayhealth.com/osteoarthritis/living-with/questions-ask-your-doctor-oa/