What Is The Treatment For Rheumatoid And Osteoarthritis
Despite significant advances in treatment over the past decades, rheumatoid arthritis continues to be an incurable disease. While there is no cure, the goal of disease remission is frequently attainable. Treatment of RA symptoms has two major components:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive inflammatory disease. This means that unless the inflammation is stopped or slowed, the condition will continue to worsen with joint destruction in most people. Although rheumatoid arthritis does occasionally go into remission without treatment, this is rare. Starting treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is strongly recommended. The best medical care combines medication and nondrug approaches.
Nondrug approaches include the following:
Drug approaches include a variety of medications used alone or in combinations.
The medications for rheumatoid arthritis fall into several different categories. These RA medications include
- disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs ,
Surgery may relieve pain and improve function.
Can Ra And Oa Co
It is possible to have both RA and OA. OA is more likely to occur as you age, and people with RA are at risk for OA as they get older. It is also possible to have elderly-onset RA years after being diagnosed with OA.
According to a 2018 report in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, elderly onset RA, or geriatric RA, begins after age 65. It presents with more systemic symptoms and more frequently affects large joints rather than the small joints of the hands and feet.
When these conditions co-exist, diagnosing and treating both conditions can be challenging. Both patients and doctors have difficulty differentiating between pain caused by either condition, says Dr. Lee. That can lead to function and mobility problems and delayed treatment.
Whats The Age Of Onset For Rheumatoid Arthritis
RA usually starts to develop between the ages of 30 and 60. But anyone can develop rheumatoid arthritis. In children and young adults usually between the ages of 16 and 40 its called young-onset rheumatoid arthritis . In people who develop symptoms after they turn 60, its called later-onset rheumatoid arthritis .
Also Check: Is It Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis
Which Is More Painful
Arthritis pain varies in intensity among people who have it.
People with either OA or RA may have pain thats mild to severe, and difficulty moving affected joints.
While people with OA may have morning stiffness that lasts fewer than 30 minutes, it lasts longer for people with RA.
RA may also cause other uncomfortable symptoms such as fever and fatigue.
What Are The 4 Stages Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
While there may be no specific cure for RA, early treatment to prevent further problems can be key. You can begin to recognise these symptoms at the early stages by looking out for the following:9
You may find that the stiffness gets better with movement, which is a good way of differentiating it from osteoarthritis.
You may also notice that you develop lumps on the elbows known as rheumatoid nodules.
Your fingers may become bent and in some cases fingers can become crooked. This means that your joints may press on nerves and begin to cause nerve damage as a result.
Read Also: Can Arthritis Be Removed With Surgery
Serological Features Of Ra And Psa
RA is a seropositive arthropathy, with approximately 80% of patients having a positive test result for RF or CCP antibodies. CCP antibodies are a more specific marker for RA than RF, but both biomarkers are considered to be distinct and complementary predictors of disability and joint erosion.
In contrast, PsA is a seronegative inflammatory arthropathy. RF and CCP are absent in most patients with PsA, and if patients do have positive test findings for RF or CCP, the titres are usually low. In a study comparing patients with RA or PsA and controls, the mean RF and anti-CCP titre values were substantially higher in patients with RA compared with PsA . Titres in patients with PsA were similar to values in controls. Although the presence of serum RF or CCP antibodies is generally not used to exclude diagnosis of non-rheumatic diseases , data suggest that at anti-CCP titre values 11.6 U/mL, it is highly probable that patients have RA rather than PsA. In both patients with RA and PsA, the presence of anti-CCP antibodies is associated with bone destruction, suggesting that the osteocatabolic effect of anti-CCP antibodies is not found only in RA as previously thought.
Increased ESR and CRP levels are markers of inflammation, but not necessarily just in RA. Other rheumatological diseases associated with elevated ESR and CRP levels include polymyalgia rheumatica, Sjögrens syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis.
Clinical Characteristics Of Ra And Psa
For RA, the American College of Rheumatology /European League Against Rheumatism classification criteria were designed for patient characterisation and use in clinical trials. The key clinical characteristic is the confirmation of definite, persistent, clinical synovitis in at least one joint. The criteria include the number of joints involved, duration of symptoms, and the demonstration of serological markers and an elevated acute-phase reactant. For PsA, the Classification Criteria for Psoriatic Arthritis help categorise patients with inflammatory articular disease for clinical trials. Key clinical characteristics include a personal or family history of psoriasis, psoriatic nail dystrophy and dactylitis. Neither classification criteria should be confused as diagnostic criteria.
Joint involvement is predominantly symmetric in RA and often, but not always, asymmetric in PsA. In both RA and PsA, most patients have polyarthritis , although joint involvement can be oligoarticular or polyarticular. Monoarticular disease is less common in PsA however, 5%10% of patients may present with isolated distal joint involvement. In PsA, prognosis worsens and symmetry of joint involvement tends to increase as the number of affected joints increases.
Don’t Miss: Can Arthritis Affect Your Lungs
Pathogenesis Of Ra And Psa
A combination of genetic factors and environmental triggers is thought to elicit autoimmune inflammatory responses in both RA and PsA. The pathogenesis of RA and PsA is not completely understood. In addition to the known association with human leucocyte antigen -DR4 in RA, one theory is the development of lung inflammation, typically prior to joint symptoms, with production of antibodies to citrullinated protein antigens that mediate pathogenesis. Gut dysbiosis has been linked with the pathogenesis of PsA. While there is some overlap in the development of inflammation in PsA and RA, some important differences are evident. For example, in both PsA and RA, HLA alleles have been shown to affect disease susceptibility and severity however, the primary genotypes associated with each disease are different. In PsA, HLA-B27 is associated with the development of enthesitis and symmetric sacroiliitis, and HLA-B08 is associated with joint fusion, asymmetric sacroiliitis and dactylitis. In RA, HLA-DRB1 alleles are associated with disease susceptibility and severity in patients who have positive findings for rheumatoid factor and cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies.
Pathogenesisof PsA and RA. Reprinted from Coates et al and Perera et al. IFN, interferon IL, interleukin MHC, major histocompatibility complex PsA, psoriatic arthritis Pso, psoriasis RA, rheumatoid arthritis TCR, T cell receptor TGF-, transforming growth factor- Th, T helper TNF-, tumour necrosis factor-.
Evening Primrose Oil Supplements
Some plant oils may reduce pain and stiffness associated with RA. Evening primrose oil contains an essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid that may provide some relief.
A 2016 study found that taking evening primrose oil and fish oil may reduce inflammation and disease activity.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health , however, more research is needed on the effectiveness of primrose oil.
Again, check with your doctor before taking evening primrose oil, as it may interact with some medications. Potential side effects include headache and an upset stomach.
Thunder god vine grows in China and Taiwan and is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Research has indicated that it may be effective for treating RA symptoms.
According to a 2015 study , thunder god vine was comparable to the standard RA drug methotrexate in relieving symptoms. The study found that taking both was even more effective.
A 2018 research review also suggested that thunder god vine supplements may help reduce inflammation. Still, more research is needed on long-term effects and safety.
Talk to your doctor and assess the benefits before trying thunder god vine, as it may have some serious side effects. These can include reduced bone mineral content, infertility, rashes, and hair loss.
Thunder god vine can also be poisonous if it isnt prepared correctly.
Also Check: Is Advil Good For Arthritis
How Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may refer you to a physician who specializes in arthritis . Rheumatologists diagnose people with rheumatoid arthritis based on a combination of several factors. Theyll do a physical exam and ask you about your medical history and symptoms. Your rheumatologist will order blood tests and imaging tests.
The blood tests look for inflammation and blood proteins that are signs of rheumatoid arthritis. These may include:
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate or sed rate confirms inflammation in your joints.
- C-reactive protein .
- About 80% of people with RA test positive for rheumatoid factor .
- About 60% to 70% of people living with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides .
Your rheumatologist may order imaging tests to look for signs that your joints are wearing away. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause the ends of the bones within your joints to wear down. The imaging tests may include:
In some cases, your provider may watch how you do over time before making a definitive diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.
Radiographic Features Of Ra And Psa
Use of imaging can provide important information to help practitioners identify and differentiate between types of inflammatory arthritis. Conventional radiography can be used to identify juxta-articular bony proliferations, which can be used to help discern PsA from other types of inflammatory arthritis, and to visualise osteodestructive lesions characteristic of RA. Other characteristic radiographic changes observed in patients with severe PsA are bone resorption, pencil-in-cup deformities and ankylosis. However, conventional radiographs are not as sensitive as ultrasound or MRI for detection of bone erosions and may not help clinicians detect soft-tissue changes well. Additionally, in our experience, radiologists will often report changes consistent with osteoarthritis in patients with PsA, and it is necessary for rheumatologists to interpret these findings in the proper clinical context.
Ultrasound imaging can be used to identify characteristic features of inflammatory arthritis, including enthesitis, cortical bone erosions, cartilage lesions, synovitis and tenosynovitis. Bone erosions are an important diagnostic criterion of RA that can be identified based on intra-articular discontinuity of the bone surface. Ultrasound evaluations of bone erosions are more reliable for joints that are easily accessible than for carpal or tarsal bones, which cannot be viewed circumferentially.
Read Also: What Causes Arthritis Flare Ups In Fingers
Oa And Ra Characteristics
Joint pain and inflammation can be a symptom of any disease. In Rheumatoid Arthritis is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints. is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints., symptoms progress slowly for weeks. Stiffness and fatigue are the usual early symptoms. You can also expect Fever of a low intensity and Loss of weight with a diagnosis for Rheumatoid Arthritis is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints. is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints..
The following are some of the symptoms of RA:
- Stiff, tender, and swollen joints. It affects joints symmetrically , especially the neck, elbows, wrists, hands, knees, ankles, and feet. Take a note of these areas to identify the difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints. is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints..
- Stiffness in the morning. Morning stiffness is a frequent arthritis symptom. It occurs after lengthy periods of sitting or sleeping. It may persist up to an hour or longer in most cases.
- Nodules. RA nodules may vary in size. They can be as small as a pea and large as a mothball. A nodule is an obvious difference between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints. is a kind of arthritis that affects the joints.. These bumps usually form on your leg bones, spine, knuckles, and elbows.
- Loss of appetite
- Fever of a low intensity
Difference Between Osteoarthritis And Rheumatoid Arthritis
There are several different types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common forms. Although the symptoms of these two types of arthritis can be similar, it’s very important to distinguish between them in order to determine the proper treatment.
At the University of Michigan Health System, our experienced rheumatologists will do appropriate tests to determine which type of arthritis you have. Then we will develop an effective treatment plan and will explain your options.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the smooth cartilage joint surface wears out. Osteoarthritis usually begins in an isolated joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body instead of intruders. In this case, it attacks the synovial membrane that encases and protects the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis often targets several joints at one time. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- the symmetrical nature of the disease ,
Don’t Miss: Where To Inject Methotrexate For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Get Help Treating Osteoarthritis Or Rheumatoid Arthritis With Joint Academy
Todays technology-driven society has led to telehealth becoming a popular way for patients to receive medical guidance or treatments. Fortunately, Joint Academy is at the forefront of virtual physical therapy technology that can be used as a first line of defense for conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. With the Joint Academy app, licensed physical therapists can connect with patients digitally and provide them with personalized, evidence-based treatment programs to follow.
Read Also: Can You Exercise With Arthritis
Sleep Aid Herbal Supplements
- Melatonin Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that plays an important role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle, among other body functions. Data from clinical trials suggests melatonin supplements may be helpful in treating sleep disorders, such as jet lag, delayed sleep disorder, and sleep problems related to shift work.33
- L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan L-tryptophan and 5-HTP are precursors to serotonin, which can then be converted to melatonin. Research has been limited on these compounds, with clinical trials of small or limited quality, and no recommendations can be made on their efficacy.33 Increasing levels of serotonin may interact with several anti-depressant medications, so its important to talk to your healthcare provider first.
- Kava Kava comes from the plant Piper methysticum. It has been used traditionally in the South Pacific to promote relaxation. Research has shown that kava may have a small effect on reducing anxiety, but there are safety concerns: Kava has been linked to an increased risk of severe liver disease, and heavy use is linked with heart problems and eye irritation.34
- Valerian Valerian comes from a plant . There is limited research on valerian as a sleep aid, and results from clinical trials have been inconsistent.35
Dont Miss: What Is The Difference Between Gout And Gouty Arthritis
You May Like: How Do You Know If Your Cat Has Arthritis
Treatment Options For Ra And Psa
Because of the differences in disease pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and response to therapy between RA and PsA, treatment strategies may differ. provides a summary of current Food and Drug Administration -approved treatments for RA and PsA. Agents targeting more upstream factors are effective in both PsA and RA, while agents targeting more downstream cytokines are more disease-specific, demonstrating significant efficacy in either RA or PsA , but not in both diseases.
Managing Symptoms Of Autoimmune Arthritis
Several medications work for both psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications reduce pain and swelling.
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs protect joints and slow the disease, and less of the joint is destroyed, meaning theres less swelling, pain and less loss of joint function.
- Biologics target the specific parts of the immune system that drive inflammation.
As researchers learn more about the causes of inflammatory arthritis, theyre developing new medications to manage these diseases. Some of these new drugs are designed to specifically target one disease or the other.
Both psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are chronic diseases. They cant be cured, but they can be managed, Dr. Rosian says. By working with your doctor to get the correct diagnosis, you can manage symptoms to feel your best.
You May Like: Is Arthritis In The Bones Or Muscles
Tai Chi And Yoga For Lessening Ra Symptoms
Tai chi hasnt yet been thoroughly investigated for RA and many studies that do exist were conducted before the current drugs for RA were available so its unclear if tai chi is effective for RA, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health .
With that said, tai chi, which is a form of low-impact exercise, appears to be safe to try for RA and doesnt exacerbate RA symptoms.
Though tai chi may not reduce the inflammation-related symptoms of RA, a review published in November 2016 in the journal Canadian Family Physician found that the practice may confer some benefits for depression and anxiety, lung disease, fibromyalgia, and lower back pain all issues that people with RA may also experience.
Some individual studies have found that yoga may help people living with rheumatoid arthritis by improving physical function, increasing grip strength, and reducing inflammation specifically decreasing the number of tender and swollen joints. These studies have also shown that some forms of yoga can reduce pain, disability, and fatigue, and improve health, mood, and quality of life.
And in an Indian study published in February 2019 in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, researchers found that practicing yoga five days a week for two months can significantly decrease the severity of physical and psychological symptoms of RA.
But systematic reviews have found mixed evidence for yoga for people with RA.