The difference between arthritis and arthrosis: studying the manifestations of pain

The name of the disease sounds like it affects the same organ system, the musculoskeletal system. What is the difference between arthritis and arthrosis and what are the similarities?

It is well known that this disease affects the musculoskeletal system, especially the joints, but the etiology of the disease is different.

Thus, arthritis occurs because of several types of infection: local or general, and arthrosis is a degenerative process that occurs in the articular cartilage, due to aging of the human body.

However, any person, regardless of age, can get arthritis and arthrosis.

Among other things, arthrosis can refer to dystrophic processes, while arthritis can be a side effect of endo and other exogenous diseases.

Among the first, osteoarthritis and arthrosis of the deformed joints are distinguished, and arthritis is rheumatoid and rheumatic, certain infectious and post-traumatic, as well as arthritis can be accompanied by concomitant diseases of the blood, respiratory system, digestive and others.


  • Arthrosisis ​​a chronic pathology of a degenerative-dystrophic nature. The onset of the disease is not associated with inflammatory components. The pathological process is based on the loss of the ability to regenerate and restore by articular cartilage cells. Over time, painful abnormalities encompass nearby anatomical structures: ligaments, bursa, synovium, muscle and bone tissue. People aged middle age and older are most prone to arthrosis. According to the results of clinical studies, at the age of 45 - 65, 30% - 40% of the population experiences degenerative changes in the articular elements, and after 65 years the number of cases increases to 70% - 85%.
  • Arthritisaffects younger segments of the population. Some types of diseases are found in every thousand children. The overall prevalence of arthritis is high among people of all ages. Unlike arthrosis, the disease is inflammatory. Inflammation develops in the synovial membrane of the articular cavity. As the pathology progresses, it spreads to the cartilage and ligament apparatus, turning into arthrosis.

It cannot be said which is worse: arthritis or arthrosis. Pathology is interrelated. The articular elements, undergoing degenerative-dystrophic changes, respond to it with the development of inflammatory processes. The same situation can happen otherwise. The site of pathological abnormalities after suffering from arthritis is a good environment for arthrosis.

Mechanisms of pathological formation

how arthritis is different from arthrosis

Differences between diseases are observed from the beginning - the mechanism of their origin.

The basic role in the development of arthrosis is played by:

  • age-related changes;
  • climax period;
  • violation of metabolic processes;
  • strenuous physical activity;
  • very traumatic surgical intervention;
  • overweight;
  • frequent joint microtrauma;
  • increased uric acid levels;
  • lack of blood supply;
  • toxic body poisoning;
  • Micronutrient deficiency.

Factors that cause the development of arthrosis are early pathology: acetabulum protrusion, femoral head osteochondropathy, endocrine diseases, hemophilia, diseases that cause increased joint instability, weakness of the ligament apparatus. At a young age, degenerative changes develop against a congenital background of low hip joint and traumatic lesions: subluxation and dislocation of the femoral head, fracture of the femur and pelvis.

The starting point of arthritis formation is:

  • transmits external articular infections;
  • body autoimmune reactions;
  • inherits the readiness of genes that encode information from the cell surface to deviations;
  • spread of infectious agents through lymph and blood vessels from primary focus;
  • inflammation of connective tissue;
  • diseases of the nervous system;
  • hypothermia.

Synovial fluid infection has a direct pathway - an open wound that penetrates the joint. The mechanism of the onset of arthritis is complemented by complex and varied weapons. The reason lies in the ability of the joints to respond quickly to any inflammation.

Differences in accompanying symptoms

typical symptoms of arthritis from arthrosis

Thus, with arthritis, pain most often occurs during physical exercise, and pain can also occur at night when a person is in the same position for a long time.

In arthrosis, pain occurs locally in one place, that is, where the inflammatory process occurs, but at rest the pain disappears.

The nature of pain is also different. For example, patients with arthritis suffer from acute, severe and wrinkled pains, and dull aches and pains accompany arthrosis.

Blood counts are also very good. In the first case, there is an increase in erythrocyte deposition rate (ESR) and an increase in C-reactive protein levels, as well as high levels of leukocytes and seromucoids. In the latter case, there is no such deviation.

The symptoms that accompany this disease will help to understand the difference between arthrosis and arthritis.

In arthrosis, the knee and hip joints are mainly affected by abnormal deviations, sometimes the process is localized in the shoulder area. The pathology develops gradually. The first short-term pain does not make it possible to determine the exact location of the lesion.

Over time, the clinical picture comes with the following symptoms:

  • a kind of crunchy sound that appears while moving;
  • meteorological dependence is observed;
  • the intensity of the pain syndrome increases with the background of increased load, at which time the pain breaks;
  • range of motion gradually decreases;
  • there is thickening along the edges of the joint space;
  • increased volume, the process of squeezing the nerve endings, causing constant pain;
  • joints are prone to instability.

Any joint of the musculoskeletal system can be affected by pathological abnormalities in arthritis. The most vulnerable are the small elements of the legs, arms, lower legs and elbow moving joints. Arthritis in the form of rheumatism is characterized by symmetry of the focal lesion.

The first symptomatology, as in arthrosis, appears unexpectedly. Pathology clinics begin with general abnormalities. Pathological abnormalities develop rapidly, affecting the movement and functional capacity of the affected joint. But, if arthrosis is characterized by an increase in pain during movement, then in the case of arthritis, the more you move, the less pain. The intensity of the painful sensation increases at night. In the morning, the patient finds it difficult to cope with cramps in the joints. On palpation, pain is determined across the joint surface.

The situation is getting worse:

  • local hyperemia;
  • subcutaneous nodule formation;
  • swollen lymph nodes;
  • peripheral nerve damage.

Pathology in the active phase is accompanied by a significant complex of common symptoms: increased temperature indicators, chills, fever, and intoxication syndrome. If there are complications, other elements of the biological system are involved in pathological conditions: organs of vision, respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, urinary, nervous systems.

Arthrosis, in addition to the complete destruction of cartilage, causes disturbances in the biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system.

Different research methods

A detailed study of the current clinical picture allows us to understand how to distinguish arthritis from arthrosis with the greatest accuracy.

Differentiation features are identified based on the results of the following study:

  • Complete blood count.In arthrosis, in most cases, the rate of deposition and reaction of erythrocytes in the blood remains normal. Arthritis is characterized by a significant increase in indicators, which confirms the presence of inflammatory processes in the body. This analysis does not provide a clear definition of the disease, but makes it possible to distinguish between degenerative-dystrophic changes from inflammation.
  • methods for diagnosing arthritis and arthrosis
  • Biochemical analysis of blood sampling. In arthritis, studies confirm the presence of inflammatory markers in biomaterials: C-reactive protein, seromucoid. It is possible to detect rheumatoid factor - immunoglobulin antibodies that are accidentally produced by the body. Biochemical parameters for arthrosis remain normal.
  • X-ray examination.In the early stages of the development of arthritis, no obvious changes can be detected. With arthrosis, narrowing of uneven joint space is recorded, osteophyte formation (growth on the surface of bone tissue).
  • MRI.Differential diagnosis of arthritis and arthrosis is the most reliable in the early stages.

Therapeutic features

Doctors with various qualifications involved in the treatment of pathology. With arthrosis, the patient is referred to an orthopedic traumatologist. In the case of arthritis, the true cause of pathological changes is initially determined. Depending on the circumstances specified, the specialist is selected.

As a result, if the two diseases affect the condition of the support device, then the treatment methods are the same with each other. An important condition for recovery is a decrease in total weight, and, therefore, a decrease in load on the affected organs of the disease. In both cases, if medication and a course of physiotherapy do not bring positive results, joint replacement is used.

Specialized therapies, rehabilitation gymnastics, drug treatment, and physiotherapy are also used. With the most severe complications, arthroplasty is used.

In addition to similar methods, there are some differences in the treatment of pathology.

For arthritis, treatment begins with immediate and powerful therapy. Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial drugs are prescribed. Preference is given to drugs with the least side effects. If the results do not meet expectations, the drug will be replaced in a row.

features of the treatment of arthritis and arthrosis

Complex medicine courses include:

  • intra-articular antihistamine injections;
  • corticosteroids;
  • cytostatic;
  • sulfonamide;
  • products based on gold salt.

The prognosis with adequate and timely arthritis treatment is usually good.

Osteoarthritis requires long-term and comprehensive treatment. The main task of therapeutic measures in the treatment of arthrosis is the restoration of joint cartilage tissue. Pharmaceutical products with this capability include chondroprotectors. The most effective are chondroitin and glucosamine.

Disrupted blood microcirculation is eliminated with the help of vasodilators. To relieve spastic pain, relieve muscle tone, muscle relaxation is prescribed. The use of local warming ointments and creams is indicated, which is strictly prohibited in the event of arthritis.

In parallel, funds that stimulate metabolic processes are used, the body is nourished with vitamins and micro-elements. Not the last place in arthrosis therapy is occupied by specially developed therapeutic exercises.

Osteoarthritis belongs to the group of chronic diseases that cause irreversible consequences that can not be completely eliminated. Therapeutic measures are designed to slow down the degenerative process as much as possible.

In any case, people who observe clear signs of the disease should see a specialist immediately, and not necessarily treat the disease themselves. Take care of your health and get what you want.