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Difference Between OA and RA

OA vs RA

Bone and joint disorders are one of the most painful illnesses one can experience. He or she can experience excruciating pain that can last for a few seconds to a few hours if no intervention is being done. These bone and joint disorders can occur in a group of the population, and some occur naturally to people who stress their bones and joints that much.

Two of the most common bone disorders are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis or better known as OA and RA. Let us try to tackle the differences between these two bone disorders.

RA is a condition in which the antibodies are involved in the inflammation of the joints. This joint disorder progresses as time goes by. This is more common in women than in men with a ratio of 3:1. RA occurs in 1 per cent of the population in he United States. This condition is usually hereditary or is caused by other factors.

OA, on the other hand, is a wear-and-tear condition. This is common among athletes, sportsmen, runners, cyclists, and those people who frequently use their knees that bear weight on them.However, the effects will take place once these people reach old age. OA usually affects the knees and hips. RA affects the small joints such as the wrist and knuckles of the hand.

RA and OA’s duration of pain is different as well. RA usually occurs every morning since the antibodies are concentrated in the wrist and knuckles. It can last for 30 minutes or more. OA, on the other hand, is short and can occur for some minutes.

OA’s cause is due to a cartilage breakdown which caused by too much strain in this part of the leg. Besides the repetitive use of bone cartilage, being overweight also puts stress on kneecaps and pelvic bones. Family history and genetics also play an important role in the development of OA. RA’s cause is due to the antibodies that cause self-destruction in the synovium or the lining of the joints. This causes inflammation and pain in these areas of the joints.

In RA there is swelling, redness, and warmth. In OA there is stiffness that can last for 30 minutes to an hour which occurs in the mornings. In the later hours of the day pain is less.
Treatment for RA involves medications which can relieve the inflammation. There are five categories of medications for RA namely; biologics, DMARDs, corticosteroids, NSAIDs, and analgesics. Treatment for OA, besides painkillers, are steroid injections, physical therapy such as exercise, support, rest, heat application, and weight reduction.


1. “RA” stands for “rheumatoid arthritis” while “OA” stands for “osteoarthritis.”
2. RA is an inflammation type of arthritis while OA is a wear-and-tear type of arthritis.
3. The cause of RA is self-destructive antibodies while OA is caused by frequent stress on
these bones, being overweight, and genetics.
4. Treatment of RA involves medications while OA involves medications and other adjuvant
therapies to ease the pain.

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