An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from arthritis, a degenerative and often debilitating inflammation of joints that causes pain, swelling and reduced mobility.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer,
explains how to differentiate between the two most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and provides helpful information on how to ease the pain and discomfort.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and is mainly attributed to wear and tear of cartilage between joints as a result of the aging process. Excess weight can exacerbate the condition and expedite the onset of symptoms. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it most often occurs in the fingers, knees, hips and spine.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, like many other rheumatic diseases, is characterized by inflammation in muscles, joints, or fibrous tissue in the body. Unlike osteoarthritis, however, rheumatoid arthritis is autoimmune in nature, whereby the body’s own immune system attacks the connective tissue between joints and causes degeneration. Surrounding muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support and stabilize the joint weaken over time, resulting in bone damage and systemic complications.

For more information on the different types of arthritis, visit

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