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Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Posted by jenn (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 1, 07 at 17:31

I've had pain in my hips (in the groin area) for the past several weeks. Actually, the pain began about 4-5 years ago but to a much lesser degree and has slowly progressed to this point. Several months ago I began cycling in addition to walking, and perhaps it was a bit too much all at once. I am not overweight, but I could afford to lose 10-15 lbs.

My hips begin hurting when I get up to walk after sitting for a while. They don't hurt as much when I get up in the morning, which may be due to a different position than sitting. They do not hurt at all while walking or cycling for exercise. There is no visible swelling or any of this type of pain in any other joints, except my big toe which has osteoarthritis (OA).

Someone who has RA said that my symptoms (pain after rest) sound EXACTLY like RA. However, only my hips are affected, I have no swelling anywhere, and no other symptoms of RA whatsoever.

My brother had both hips replaced due to OA (osteoarthritis) before he turned 50. I told him about my symptoms and he said "that's exactly how mine started". My dad has had one knee replaced due to OA, and the other one may need it in the future.

I'm wondering if any of you who has RA thinks my symptoms sound typical of RA. I know that seeing my doctor is the surest way of knowing, but I'd like the opinion of those of you here who are more familiar with it.

Jen


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Its my understanding that osteoarthritis has pain after rest too. So does fibromyalgia. And I think RA is something that starts earlier in life.
I have alot of sciatica after riding the exercise bicycle, not during it. I'm wondering if you riding your bike is exacerbating your hip problem? Can you take NSAIDS?
I'm learning the value of exercises in helping certain joint pains. (I had to see a physical therapist to know which ones were good).


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RE: Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

I've taken some Advil but not on a daily basis.... I take one every few days or so. There may be some inflammation going on that merits taking it daily until it goes away, but there's a new school of thought that inflammation may actually enhance healing rather than hinder it. Sigh... like coffee being bad for us, then it's not bad, then it is, then it's not, then it is....


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RE: Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Hi Jenn,
I haven't heard that theory about inflammation enhancing healing. Where did you read that? I'm trying to lean more about alternatives to the usual treatments to things.


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RE: Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Jenn---I have RA and your symptoms are more like OA than RA. Mine started at age 8, went into remission until age 27 and has been from moderately to very active ever since. It moves from joint to joint. OA on the other hand usually comes with age and usage and the joints effected would most often be those that get the most use. Knees, hips, etc. Excercise is important for both varieties but not done properly can cause more damage than good. It's possible to have both types at the same time. Google recommended exercises for arthritics. I think you'll find the exercises will be of a more gentle nature stressing a lot of stretching with modified versions of those you are probably use to doing. No jumping jacks and hard joint jarring but do use 3 to 5 pound weights and stretcher bands in a slow and controlled manner.

You need a doctor to recommend medication. All the drugs used to treat arthritis have side effects that have to be monitored. If you have a history of stomach problems then the nsaids could be a problem if not closley monitored. The same can be said for the OTC drugs advertised for arthritis. Unfortunately, when we are suffering from pain that can be pretty severe, we tend to over medicate. Always know what the medication your taking can do if not taken as directed. Just be as informed as you can.


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RE: Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

I second what Pris said. I have RA, and it took years for it to be diagnosed properly. As a child, I was told I had "growing pains", as an adult, I was given many diagnoses...from Lupus to "stress" and given tranquilizers.

It was finally diagnosed after a trip to the ER at Mass General, who took a simple blood test for RA factor during an extreme "flare" that had left me unconscious.

RA affects the entire system, it's an auto-immune disease that triggers your immune system at will.
OA is a wear-and-tear disease of the joints.

They both require different drugs and the amount and type of exercise.

If you think you have RA...go to a Rheumatologist.


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RE: Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

In RA, excessive stress triggers the immune system.
RA is not caused by bacteria, it is a disease that is characterized by an overactive immune system that attacks healthy cells, as if they were infected.

Arthritis is a very general term, and includes many diseases and conditions that attack joint tissue, with different causes.

for example:
osteoarthritis is a wear and tear disease
traumatic arthritis, however, is caused by trauma to a bone or joint

Your link went to a site talking about cholesterol.


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RE: Reumatoid arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis

Do check this article, It might be helpful in your research.
It deals with various health conditions including RA and OA and many more...

Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: health conditions


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