What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Arthritis is a catch-all term for describing a disease in which one or more joints become inflamed or swollen. The term includes rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia, lupus, and dozens of more types. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 100 diseases affect joints and tissues around the joints. Osteoarthritis is one specific type of arthritis in which the cartilage in the joint breaks down. Here you can read more about the differences between arthritis and osteoarthritis.

What is the best supplement for osteoarthritis?

The supplements that many people with osteoarthritis take are chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine. Medical research is ongoing with the focus on pursuing scientific evidence that supplements repair cartilage or can stimulate new cartilage components. According to the Arthritis Foundation, some other supplements that have been supported by past research as beneficial (more is needed) include curcumin, turmeric, ASU (avocado soy unsaponifiable), bromelain, fish oil, and ginger, to name a few.

What are the early signs of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis develops slowly. Some of the earliest symptoms are mild joint pain, joints that are stiff, and loss of joint flexibility. The joints may make popping noises when used. The joint stiffness is often noticeable after being inactive for a while or first thing in the morning. There may be tenderness that is felt when the joint is pressed.

What happens if osteoarthritis is left untreated?

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease so that it will get worse over time. For most people, it develops in the spine, hips, and knees because they are weight-bearing joints. It also is commonly found in the fingers but can develop in any joint in the body. Osteoarthritis is wear-and-tear of the cartilage that cushions bones in the joints. As the cartilage deterioration progresses, the bones in the joint begin to rub together, leading to pain and reduced joint mobility. The frayed cartilage and bone rubbing may lead to inflammation of surrounding tissues and joint swelling. If left untreated, a severe loss of cartilage and slipping bones can lead to deformities, like bow-leggedness and bent fingers, bone growths on fingers, and bony spurs on the spine.