Arthrosis and arthritis are often referred to as the same condition. This is a big mistake. The key lies in being aware that arthritis is the result of inflammation and that arthrosis has a degenerative component, the origin of which is the wear and tear of the cartilage surrounding the head of the bones of each joint, which prevents them from rubbing against each other.

Despite the fact that both of them affect mobile joints by causing a great deal of pain, and even immobility in their more advanced phases, the two pathologies have different origins and treatments.

In the case of arthritis, one of the membranes which covers each joint becomes inflamed and causes the first discomfort. The membrane tissue then grows abnormally and ends up attacking the bone and the surrounding cartilage, causing injuries and pain. On the other hand, in the case of arthrosis, the bones undergo friction, the joints no longer bend as easily as before, and bone deformities occur, which make movement even more difficult and cause a lot of pain.

The following table shows the causes, symptoms and treatments for both conditions:

CAUSES The exact causes are unknown, but they are known to be more common in women than in men. Triggering factors:

  • An infection caused by a fungus, virus or bacteria which subsequently affects a joint, causing fever, pain and inflammation.
  • Excess weight.
  • Immune system failure.
  • Age-related deterioration: the cartilage tissue ages and does not properly fulfil its function.
  • Failure in one of the genes responsible for collagen, an essential part of the cartilage. Usually inherited.
  • Previous joint injuries.
  • Excess weight: overexertion of knees and hips due to excess weight increases the risk of suffering from arthrosis.
SYMPTOMS It begins in the small joints such as the fingers, hands and wrists. Movement is increasingly difficult and is accompanied by inflammation and redness. Stiffness on getting out of bed or after remaining inactive for a long period of time is highly characteristic. The affected joints are usually those in the hands, spine, hips, knees and feet. The joint becomes deformed and movements are accompanied by a cracking, which exacerbates the pain. Decrease in movement can end up causing muscular atrophy.
TREATMENTS There is no cure for either arthritis or arthrosis; there are only palliative treatments to reduce the pain and improve quality of life. These treatments may be pharmacological, surgical or palliative in the form of exercises and a specific diet to relieve the discomfort and slow down the disease.

Those who suffer from arthritis, as it is of inflammatory origin, can relieve their joint pain with massages by applying arnica and devil’s claw cream, which have natural ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties which, as they topically penetrate the body, provide relief to the affected area.