Health & Wellness

Arthritis or Osteoarthritis?

Advertorial – We are now using the term “arthritis” in a wider sense to replace the term “rheumatism” which encompasses more than a hundred disorders, including osteoarthritis so we understand the distinction between these two diseases. However, here we focus on recognizing the difference between the two forms of arthritis: Inflammatory arthritis and Osteoarthritis

So, Arthritis or Osteoarthritis?

Simply put, arthritis is an inflammatory disease while osteoarthritis is a mechanical disease. The evolution and treatment of each disease are quite different.

Arthritis: Inflammation of the Joints

Arthritis comes from the term “arth” meaning joints while “itis” means inflammation. In the case of arthritis it is the swelling that causes damage and pain to the joints. This inflammation is mainly caused by an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the tissues of the joints. Progression of this disease can be extremely rapid and aggressive and strike at any age. The so-called inflammatory arthritis encompasses a wide spectrum of pathologies like:

– Rheumatoid polyarthritis

– Ankylosing spondylitis

– Psoriatic arthritis

– Juvenile arthritis

– Lupus or Gout

Inflammatory Arthritis: Understanding the symptoms

Joint pain caused by arthritis is usually felt at rest and decreases as you resume your physical activities. For example, a woman feeling joint pain in her hands at night, but feels relief when she wakes up and resumes her activities probably shows signs of arthritis.

Osteoarthritis: Cartilage Wear and Tear

The Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) describes osteoarthritis as the body’s failed attempt to repair damaged joint tissues. This is a mechanical disease, since it causes cartilage wear and tear. When this elastic but strong material that protects the ends of the bones wears away, it leads to bone friction, pain, stiffness and swelling.

Age remains the most common cause of osteoarthritis, followed by injuries, overuse of joints from physical work and intense sport. Thus, the movable joints, such as the knee, the hip or the spinal column are most at risk of developing this condition. Unlike arthritis, osteoarthritis usually develops gradually. However, this is the most common arthritic condition, with one in six Canadian adults report having it.

Osteoarthritis: Understanding the Symptoms

Unlike arthritis, joint pain associated with osteoarthritis will be felt during movement and will decrease at rest. For example, left knee pain of a 50-year-old person that is made worse when walking or running will probably mean osteoarthritis.

How to treat these chronic conditions?

It is important to understand that we cannot completely cure an arthritic condition. In both cases, these untreated chronic conditions can lead to disabling pain. Depending on the stage and severity of inflammatory arthritis, the doctor will usually prescribe drugs called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The treatment can also be combined with anti-inflammatory drugs.

In all cases, the medications prescribed for inflammatory arthritis are not used for osteoarthritis. Since osteoarthritis is a mechanical disease, it is very important to prevent the articular cartilage wear and tear:

– Maintain a healthy weight

– Adapt your physical activities

– Stay physically active to strengthen the muscles around the joints

Can supplements help for arthritic conditions?

When joint pain is part of your day to day life, some natural supplements can help to get some relief. Here are some supplements to consider when suffering from arthritic condition, but mostly osteoarthritis:

  • Collagen
  • Natural Eggshell Membrane
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM
  • Curcumin/Turmeric

All these supplements have been recognized to provide benefits on joint health for people suffering from osteoarthritis. Genacol®, a Canadian leader in joint health since 2000 provides a wide range of collagen-based products, which also include these ingredients. The results obtained by thousands of people demonstrate the effectiveness of Genacol®’s products. Moreover, three clinical studies have shown the benefits of its exclusive ingredient, the AminoLock® Collagen, in relieving joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.

So now… Arthritis or Osteoarthritis?

You have all the elements to demystify the issue!

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