WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ARTHRITIS AND ARTHRALGIA?
Interestingly, arthritis is not a single disease. It is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes, and races can and do have arthritis.
The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 2a,b
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain and stiffness, which typically worsen with age. 2a
Arthritis symptoms. 1b
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe, they may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
Arthralgia is inflammation or pain that comes from inside a joint. It can be anything from mild soreness to intense pain that makes it hard to move. 3a
Some causes for joint pain may include:
- strain or joint sprains 4b
- joint dislocation 4b
- Tendons are thick cord-like (connective) tissue that join your muscles to your bones. When tendons become irritated or inflamed, the condition is called tendinitis 4b 5a
- Hypothyroidism occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the front of your neck. It releases hormones to help your body regulate and use energy. 4b 6a
- Bone cancer. Bone cancer occurs when a tumor, or abnormal mass of tissue, forms in a bone 4b 7a
Joint conditions may share similar symptoms, so talk to your doctor about a diagnosis if you experience symptoms such as stiffness, joint pain or reduced ability to move your joints. 4a,c
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- Arthritis Foundation. What Is Arthritis? [online]. [Cited] 5 November 2018. Available from URL: https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/understanding-arthritis/what-is-arthritis.php
- Mayo Clinic. Arthritis. Overview. [online] 7 March 2018. [Cited] 5 November 2018. Available from URL: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350772?p=1
- Simple Definitions for Common RA Medical Terms. [online] March 2017 [cited January 2019]; Available from URL: https://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/definitions-rheumatoid-arthritis-terms?print=true
- Arthritis vs. Arthralgia. [online] December 2016 [cited 29 January 2019]; Available from URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/rheumatoid-arthritis/arthralgia
- What Causes Tendon Inflammation? [online] July 2017 [cited January 2019]; Available from URL: https://www.healthline.com/symptom/tendon-inflammation
- Everything You Need to Know About Hypothyroidism. [online] April 2017] [cited January 2019]; Available from URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/hypothyroidism/symptoms-treatments-more
- Bone Cancer. [online] January 2016 [cited January 2019]; Available from URL: https://www.healthline.com/health/bone-cancer