Rheumatoid arthritis has several distinct characteristics that differentiate it from other types of arthritis. Take a look at this video to learn more.
Transcript: If you’ve seen commercials for rheumatoid arthritis medications, then PERHAPS you’ve wondered if this condition is any different from the arthritis that can come with AGING or injury. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system MISTAKENLY attacks the healthy cells in the joints. This causes joint inflammation, pain and stiffness, and may affect the hands, feet, ankles, knees, elbows and hips.Rheumatoid arthritis is different from osteoarthritis, the joint condition we commonly refer to as arthritis. The joint pain and stiffness that characterizes osteoarthritis develops as a result of the wear and tear of aging or from injury. And most people don’t develop it until late middle age or older. Most cases of rheumatoid arthritis develop in people between the ages of 30 and 60 -- – but it can affect people as young as 17 and what is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects kids 16 and younger. Like rheumatoid arthritis, PSORIATIC arthritis is an autoimmune condition. In fact, they’re both treated with some of the SAME prescription medications. But, psoriatic arthritis occurs in about 5% of people with PSORIASIS, a skin condition that causes patchy rashes and itching. People with psoriatic arthritis can develop BOTH this rash and joint pain, often at the same time. They also experience finger and toe swelling, known as dactylitis—this is a symptom NOT present in people with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. If you’re experiencing chronic joint pain and stiffness at any age, it’s important to see your healthcare provider and find out if you need treatment. For more on rheumatoid arthritis, check out other videos in this series. More »