• 31 DEC 18
    Arthritis and osteoarthritis: similarities and differences

    Arthritis and osteoarthritis: similarities and differences

    Arthritis and osteoarthritis are often confused by many people, since both diseases affect the joints, causing pain and reducing the quality of life of those who suffer from it.

    However, they are different pathologies, with important differences in both their cause and their evolution, among others. Next, we will explain in more detail the similarities and differences between them.

    Similarities between arthritis and osteoarthritis

    As already mentioned, both arthritis and osteoarthritis are pathologies related to the joints, and are quite common, especially at advanced ages.

    Its consequences are also very similar:

    • Decreased range of movement of the joints
    • Rigidity (especially early in the morning, at the beginning of the illness)
    • Pain

    In addition, excess weight is, in both cases, a factor that increases the risk and possibility of suffering from both diseases.

    In both cases, in order to mitigate its effects, regular physical exercise is very important, always according to the personal needs of each patient and guided by a professional. In this way you can:

    • Delay the aging of the cartilage, and the appearance of pain
    • Increase muscle strength and bone density
    • Improve joint mobility
    • Decrease depression and improve mood

    Another common point between arthritis and osteoarthritis is that both affect women more frequently (3 times more frequent in women than in men), although both can affect both sexes.

    Differences between arthritis and osteoarthritis


    In the case of arthritis, it consists of inflammation of the synovial membrane that covers the joints. Therefore, the cause of pain in this case is inflammation in the joints, so that even at rest and without moving the joint, the pain persists and does not disappear.

    In addition to pain, arthritis can also cause other symptoms: fever, discomfort, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss.

    The possible causes of arthritis are varied: infections, traumatisms or autoimmune disorders, so there are a large number of different pathologies that can cause its appearance.

    Treatment depends on the cause, although in most cases corticosteroids, anti-inflammatories and pain suppressants are usually used. The treatment focuses on curing the disease that causes arthritis and, if it is due to an infection, the arthritis can disappear and be cured when the infection that causes it is eliminated, although not always in all cases.

    Another important difference is its evolution time: arthritis has a faster evolution than osteoarthritis, so if it is not treated properly it can destroy the joint in a short time (in a matter of months or a few years).

    And as for who can suffer from arthritis, it tends to affect younger people than osteoarthritis: it is usually contracted between 20 and 40 years, although it can be contracted at any age, and as it has been said before, it is more frequent in women.

    Finally, although it is a common pathology, it is far less frequent than osteoarthritis.


    Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is not caused by other diseases, but is degenerative and is related to the wear and aging of the joints.

    In this case, it is the cartilage itself that is between the joints of the bones, whose function is to cushion the movements and avoid the contact of the bones with each other, which is damaged or worn out simply by the passage of time, so that the bones rub against each other as they move, producing pain and stiffness.

    In osteoarthritis, the pain is not caused by any inflammation, so when leaving the affected joint at rest the pain usually disappears, and it reappears and worsens when performing movements.

    Arthrosis is degenerative and chronic, there is no cure once it appears, only treatment to reduce pain, usually with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medication. Physiotherapy and exercises are performed to alleviate it, as well as eating a balanced and healthy diet to avoid overweight and not overloading the joint.

    In comparison with arthritis, the evolution of osteoarthritis has a slower process, since joint wear occurs slowly and progressively, many years from its onset to its maximum degeneration. However, as its cause is wear and aging, osteoarthritis is much more frequent than arthritis.

    Osteoarthritis appears from the age of 40 onwards, and especially after the age of 65. However, it is more frequent and usually appears earlier in women than in men.

    Diagnosis and treatment at Vithas Xanit International Hospital

    Finally, remember that in case you need assistance in traumatology, be it these pathologies or any other, at Vithas Xanit International Hospital we are at your disposal to help you. Contact us if you want more information or make an appointment.

Department Patient Care
Xanit International Hospital

I really appreciate and thank all the staff at Vithas Xanit International Hospital.  They certainly helped to make my stay in hospital more relaxing, and less painful than usual, in spite of my illness. I feel that I have just come out of a charming small hotel rather than a large hospital.


Medical Specialities

  • Hair Transplantation Unit

    At Vithas Xanit we offer the most advanced technology for hair transplantation surgery and for non surgical treatments. We attend both men and women, suffering from any capillary loss, either on the scalp or in any other body area (beard, moustache, eyebrows or eyelashes).

  • Cosmetic Surgery and Anti Aging

    Cosmetic Surgery and Anti Aging

    At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional, the Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Unit helps patients to feel good about themselves.
    The latest medical technology and our doctors and surgeons’ perfectionism are key factors in terms of patient satisfaction with the results of their cosmetic surgery or treatment. Liposuction, breast enlargements, rhinoplasty and tummy tucks are among the most applied treatments.

  • Dental surgery and Cosmetic Dentistry

    Dental surgery and Cosmetic Dentistry

    Our dentists carry out your dental surgery and/or dental treatment quickly and efficiently.
    At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional, we guarantee high quality dental treatments such as dental surgery (dental implants, sinus lift) or cosmetic dentistry treatments (dental crown, dental bridge, veneers, dentures, etc.).

  • Orthopedic Surgery and Trauma

    Orthopedic Surgery and Trauma

    Orthopedic surgery quality and prices vary from country to country and Spain combines the best of both worlds.
    The most requested health tourism orthopedic surgeries are hip replacement and knee replacement. At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional, these procedures are performed using arthroscopy and Minimally Invasive Techniques (MIS).

  • Heart Surgery

    Heart Surgery

    Our Vithas Xanit Cardiology Area is an international benchmark for heart diseases. It boasts cardiologist and specialist heart surgeon on conditions such as arrhythmia, implanting pacemakers, angioplasty, heart bypass, repair to the aortic valve and mitral valve, heart valve replacement and percutaneous mitral valve repair.

  • Obesity treatment and Bariatric Surgery

    Obesity treatment and Bariatric Surgery

    Obesity is considered to be one of Western countries’ major health issues and consequently the demand for bariatric surgery is on the up, particularly concerning gastric banding and gastric bypass
    Our surgeons have been widely trained in this area, with over 20 years’ experience in all bariatric surgeries. They are all done by laparoscopy.

  • Digestive Surgery – Gallbladder Surgery

    Digestive Surgery – Gallbladder Surgery

    The General Surgery and Digestive System Service at Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional can boast the most advanced technology and latest generation equipment for treating a wide variety of digestive pathologies such as in gallbladder. This service offers advanced laparoscopy surgery as the main way of tackling most surgical pathologies.

  • Urology – TURP

    Urology – TURP

    The Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional Urology service employs European Board of Urology-certified urologists. This unit offers patients the latest diagnosis techniques, treatments and procedures. At our International Hospital, Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is the most frequently used technique to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.

  • Vascular Surgery – Phlebology

    Vascular Surgery – Phlebology

    Venous insufficiency is a chronic pathology that affects one in three adults. It is characterised by a deficient blood return in the lower limbs.
    Our International Hospital medical team has wide-ranging experience in sclerotherapy with micro-foam, varicose vein removal with endovascular laser, ambulatory phlebectomy and the C.H.I.V.A technique, among others.

  • Spinal Surgery

    Spinal Surgery

    Slipped discs and spinal stenosis usually affect the lumbar and cervical spine and the spinal surgery most requested by our international patients is laminectomy, as well as arthroplasty of the intervertebral disk and spinal fusion.

  • Ophtalmology and laser eye surgery

    Ophtalmology and laser eye surgery

    Our international hospital uses a new femtosecond laser, the most technologically advanced refractive surgery system currently available. It can correct long-sightedness and refractive defects such as short sightedness, astigmatism or hypermetropia in a single operation.
    The most popular ophthalmology surgeries among our international patients are laser eye surgery, glaucoma and cataract surgery.

  • Imaging Diagnosis

    Imaging Diagnosis

    Radiology and nuclear medicine are medical specialties that focus on the diagnosis of diseases through the interpretation of images. They provide fundamental information for the Medical Check-Up Unit. At Hospital Vithas Xanit Internationalthese two specialities are integrated into a single service in order to provide the maximum reliability and diagnostic coordination.

  • Medical check up

    Medical check up

    Evolving health concepts, greater longevity and technological developments mean that it is increasingly important to detect and make an early diagnosis on diseases and prevent them.
    Therefore, periodic health check-up is the most efficient and secure way of controlling your health.

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology – Hysterectomy

    Obstetrics and Gynecology – Hysterectomy

    Various conditions might lead to a hysterectomy or uterine ablation: uterine cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, adenomyosis.
    This surgery can be traumatising for women and so the psychology department at Hospital Vithas Xanit Internacional helps women through this process.