There are said to be hundreds of different forms of arthritis, but most people aren’t even aware of the differences that exist between the two most common forms: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a debilitating illness affecting millions of primarily older individuals.

In the UK alone, 8.75 million people have sought treatment for the ailment, affecting 33% of people aged 45 and over, 49% of women aged over 75 and 42% of men aged over 75.

Bathing Solutions have created a great infographic which details the differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis highlighting that, as debilitating as both conditions may be, there is still hope from the treatment options available.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the UK. The difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (the second most common form) is that osteoarthritis begins later in life and its symptoms come on much more gradually than those of rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis symptoms include:

  • Inflammation in the extremities (fingertips, toes)
  • Inflammation at weight-bearing joints that have deteriorated from repeated use or intense exercise (knees, wrists, ankles)

Osteoarthritis arthritis symptoms can affect almost any joint and results in stiffness, tenderness and decreased movement. It is a degenerative disorder that is caused by joints that are overused or worn down over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis

The main difference between rheumatoid and osteoarthritis is that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own healthy tissues. The condition can develop during any stage in person’s life and produces symptoms such as:

Sore joints (usually felt in the hands or elbows)

Rheumatoid arthritis is genetically passed down, so unfortunately it’s all in the genes. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms of sore joints are a result of the build up of fluid from the synovial fluid that lubricates the cartilage that supports the bones.

Treatment options

While rheumatoid arthritis is generally relieved by painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, the symptoms of osteoarthritis can be relieved by physical therapy-type exercises and treatments including hydrotherapy: which involves using warm water to perform exercises that alleviate pain and improve range of motion.

Hydrovescent therapy can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis by keeping the joints active and relieving pain and may also relieve symptoms of stress and muscle pain by creating feelings of deep relaxation in a warm bubble bath.

Bathing Solutions offer a wide-variety of baths, showers and wet rooms to create a haven of relaxation for the treatment of arthritis and many other ailments so why not take a look today?

Difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Infographic


Arthritis Research UK – Data and statistics on osteoarthritis
Arthritis Research UK – Rheumatoid arthritis