Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis vs Osteoarthritis

Think you know everything about those achy joints? Test your knowledge about the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis with this quick pop quiz. See bottom for results.

True or False:

  1. Although osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, there is also another type of arthritis called rheumatoid arthritis that is very similar to osteoarthritis.

  2. Rheumatoid arthritis usually begins later on in life, while osteoarthritis can start at any time.

  3. Rheumatoid arthritis morning stiffness typically only lasts up to an hour in the morning.

  4. Osteoarthritis is caused by one’s own wear and tear on the body as it ages – as a result the cartilage between the joints break down, causing immense pain when the bones rub against each other.

  5. One of the most noticeable differences in the appearance of rheumatoid arthritis is that the joint areas are swollen in both hands or feet at the same time, while osteoarthritis can start on one side of the body and gradually take over the other side.

  6. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease.

  7. Stretching and knee exercises can only slightly improve your range of motion, thereby reducing your pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  8. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you should wait until the symptoms are too severe to manage to see a doctor.


  1. TRUE. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis.

  2. FALSE. Rheumatoid arthritis can begin at any time of your life and the condition can worsen quickly from a few weeks to a few short months, while osteoarthritis typically begins later on in life and progresses much more slowly, sometimes taking decades before the condition worsens.

  3. FALSE. Rheumatoid arthritis morning stiffness can actually last much longer than an hour.

  4. TRUE. Osteoarthritis is a natural health condition that results from the normal wear and tear on the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused when one’s own body attacks the joints and causes the cartilage to become stiff and swollen.

  5. TRUE. While both Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis symptoms include aching and painful joints, the underlining symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is noticeably swollen joints on both sides of the body.

  6. TRUE. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease while osteoarthritis is
    caused by the body’s own wear and tear on it.

  7. FALSE. Unfortunately, because of the aching pain, a good chunk of people feel that exercising and stretching will only cause more inflammation. The reverse is actually true. The more you exercise a set group of muscles, the easier it becomes for your body to be strong and stable. Stretching and joint exercises are one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and fit. Some exercises can help you more than others. Check with your doctor to make sure you are doing all that you can to improve your range of motion.

  8. FALSE. Waiting until your condition becomes unbearable is just about the worst thing that you can do for your rheumatism. The sooner your doctor can diagnose the problem, the sooner you can get the help that you need and get relief from your pain.

February 2nd is Rheumatoid Awareness Day

Senior Advisor's knowledgeable writers blog about senior care services, trends and more.


  1. manzarm March 14, 2015 Reply

    very nicely described definition about rheumatoid-arthritis vs osteoarthritis.

  2. manzarm September 28, 2015 Reply

    best described difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. great blog.

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