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2020/06/22 Home Education and advice


My doctor told me that I have osteoarthritis but I take Tylenol Arthritis… Arthritis/Osteoarthritis are similar… what is the difference? These are all questions and comments we hear regularly in the clinic from patients. 

Arthritis is a fairly broad term that represents hundreds of inflammatory diseases of the joints and other parts of the body. In short, it is a chronic disease that may affect people for varying periods of time continuously, permanently, or recurrently. 

The two largest categories of arthritis are: inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. 

Let’s discuss the differences between inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis! 

Inflammatory Arthritis: 

Arthritis is an inflammation of a joint that causes the secretion of substances that destroy the joint over time. Unaddressed inflammation can cause significant, and even permanent damage to affected joints causing pain and making daily activities difficult and consequently may result in loss of function and disability. 

Unlike osteoarthritis, the source of the pain associated with inflammatory arthritis is inflammation and not damage to cartilage! In fact, most conditions related to inflammatory arthritis are autoimmune. This means that our own body and immune system attacks our own healthy tissues. 

The inflammation associated with these diseases can cause the symptoms listed below. In addition, if the symptoms are not treated quickly, these diseases can progress more rapidly and more aggressively compared to osteoarthritis. 

Examples of diseases causing inflammatory arthritis: 

  • Lupus
  • Gout
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Idiopathic juvenile arthritis 

Most Affected Joints: 

  • Hands, fingers
  • Feet, toes
  • Knees, ankles
  • Shoulders, elbows 

Common Signs and Symptoms: 

  • Pain at rest
  • Night pain
  • Relief with physical activity
  • Joint feels warm when touched
  • Joints affected bilaterally
  • Swelling, inflammation, warm near the joint
  • Redness

So, you may now be asking yourself “if all of this is related to arthritis, what is osteoarthritis or arthrosis?” 


According to the Canadian Arthritis Society, Osteoarthritis is « most common type of arthritis. It affects more Canadians than all other forms of arthritis combined.” 

Osteoarthritis is often referred to as a mechanical condition, and occurs when joint cartilage is damaged. It can cause your joint cartilage to wear down to the point where the bones are in direct contact with each other. 


  • Age
  • Anatomical anomalies
  • Joint trauma
  • Repetitive high impact sports activities
  • Excess weight (overweight and obesity) 


  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Vertebral column 


  • Morning stiffness lasting less than one hour
  • Stiffness after prolonged sitting
  • Pain during movement
  • Pain relief with rest
  • Reacts well to heat
  • Painful during cold temperatures 


If you think you have osteoarthritis or arthritis, speak to one of our qualified healthcare providers at Kinatex Sports Physio to discuss the details of your situation and to establish a treatment plan to reduce your symptoms related to osteoarthritis/arthritis. 

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