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Arthritis

2004 Edition

Is Your Joint Pain Due to Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Joint pain and stiffness are the primary symptoms of both osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and many people confuse the two. But different processes are at work in each disease. OA is a local degenerative condition resulting from the breakdown of cartilage and bone in a joint, while RA is a generalized inflammatory disease that causes swelling around the joints and can damage other organs such as the heart and lungs. The chart below outlines the main differences between OA and RA.

If you think you have OA or RA, you should contact your doctor. The doctor will ask about your medical history, perform a physical examination, and carry out tests to identify the cause of your joint pain.


 


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2005
WHITE PAPERS

Arthritis

The arthritis White Paper from The Johns Hopkins White Papers series is an annual, in-depth report written by Hopkins physicians.

 

 

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