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If you have arthritis? you know which type?

Arthritis is the general term given for a range of disorders of the joints, typically causing pain, swelling and stiffness, to name just a few. There are many different forms of arthritis, to include osteo, rheumatoid, psoriatic, lupus, gout and more. Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common.

When I am with a new patient, I run through a medical history with them, one of the questions is 'do you have rheumatoid arthritis?' The answer is often 'yes', but when I delve a little deeper, its clear they have osteoarthritis and not rheumatoid. Both a very different, but do have some similar symptoms.

Osteo arthritis is caused due to wear and tear of the joint, most often it is found in the knees, hips and spine, but can affect any joints.

Here a link to an NHS video about living with ostearthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis however, is an autoimmune disease where by the immune system attacks the soft tissues of the joints, causing pain, swelling and damage, which then leads on to damaging the bones. The hands, fingers and feet are usually the first joints to be affected.

Here is a link to an NHS living with osteoarthritis short video.

Here a link to an NHS video explaining in more detail about rheumatiod arthritis.

To keep up my learning skills, I must regularly attend CDP courses and webinars. I recently did a refresher about the differences and treatments between osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, which I found very informative.

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