09:13 AM

Rheumatoid arthritis isn't your grandmother's arthritis

CBS News discusses the symptoms and prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and differences compared to osteoarthritis (OA), and includes on-air guidance from HSS rheumatologist Ashira D. Blazer, MD, MSCI.

According to Dr. Blazer, “Rheumatoid arthritis is a primarily inflammatory condition, so what I hear from my patients with rheumatoid arthritis is when they wake up in the morning, their joints feel very stiff, sometimes swollen. It improves with movement or putting the hands particularly under hot water, and this stiffness lasts for over 30 minutes, sometimes up to an hour or two or longer.”

Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by degenerative wear and tear on the joints. Over time, the cartilage or meniscus becomes damaged, leading to joint injury and pain.

Dr. Blazer explained, “OA does more classically happen in older adults, but we're seeing it happen younger and younger for a couple reasons. Osteoarthritis is one of these conditions that goes along with overall difficulty with metabolism. So, the more that we see things like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, we're also seeing OA.”

“Just as those conditions are happening in people younger and younger, OA is happening in younger and younger people,” she added.

Dr. Blazer underscored that if people suspect their pain could be rheumatoid arthritis, they should be seen by their physician as quickly as possible.

Watch the full segment at Cbsnews.com.