Information about the Coronavirus

Griffin Health is committed to your care and safety. Please call your doctor or provider before your visit. General COVID-19 information is available here. Vaccination information is available here.

Schedule your COVID-19 test at 203-437-6815.

Health Resource Center tour

Welcome to Griffin Hospital's Community Health Resource Center

The Community Health Resource Center (HRC) at Griffin Hospital is a traditional free lending library that provides an array of medical and health information. The HRC contains a collection of easy-to-read health and lifestyle related materials for patients and their families to become better informed and make more educated decisions about the various treatment options available to them.

Resource Center Hours
  • Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Other times by appointment
Online Resource Searches

Search the Library Catalog from Your Computer

Our online catalog is the modern day version of the "card catalog" and is a quick and easy way to search our online resource database to see what books, journals and magazines are available at the HRC. Books may be borrowed for 4 weeks; journals and magazines must be viewed on site. Click the button to search the online catalog.

Search Our Online Health Library

We have a resource here for you to answer almost all of your questions - whether you're wondering about a disease, a treatment, a subject, and more. DISCLAIMER: This Health Library is for educational purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the services provided by this practice/facility. Click the button to start searching. You can also click here to view the Polish database.

Ask a Consumer Health Librarian

Conditions & Treatments Digest
Health information for patients and consumers - covering different conditions, treatments, and specialties.
Health Tips & TopicsGeneral

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?

Isn’t all joint pain the same—if it hurts, it hurts? The answer is no: although the symptoms of different types of arthritis can be quite similar, there is a significant difference between their causes and treatments. Determining which type of arthritis you have is the key to finding an effective treatment that will help you move freely and return to the things you love.

What Causes Different Types of Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is the result of simple wear-and-tear in your joints. We are able to move our bodies comfortably because of cartilage, a tissue in our joints that helps the surface of our bones glide smoothly over each other. Over time, that smooth cartilage between your bones begins to break down, and your joints can no longer move so comfortably. This wear-and-tear process can be accelerated in people who are overweight, as excess weight creates additional impact on the joints that damages cartilage quicker.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. This immune response leads to inflammation that damages joint tissues and can lead to deformities as well. People with rheumatoid arthritis often experience symmetrical symptoms; for example, both knees or both elbows becoming inflamed. While the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unclear, many factors can exacerbate your risk. Among these risk factors are age, sex (women are more likely to develop the disease than men), genetic history, and smoking.

How Is Each Type of Arthritis Treated?

No matter what kind of arthritis you have, some treatment and management strategies are universal. Physical therapy can help strengthen muscles around your joints, increase flexibility, and reduce joint pain. Weight loss can also contribute to slowing the deterioration of joint tissue and limiting pain by reducing the impact your joints receive. Low impact exercises such as swimming or biking are great ways to improve physical fitness while avoiding increased pain or inflammation.

Other conservative treatments for arthritis include medication, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and painkillers like acetaminophen. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, you may also try disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that seek to prevent permanent damage to your joint tissue.

If these conservative treatment options fail to adequately reduce pain and restore your quality of life, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment. The most common of these surgeries is a total joint replacement, such as a total knee replacement.

What Should I Do If I Think I Have Arthritis?

The best first step if you experience joint pain that gets in the way of your daily activities or impacts your quality of life is to see your primary care physician. Your doctor can recommend early treatments and therapies, and refer you to a specialist such as a rheumatologist if needed. Diagnosing whether you have arthritis—and which type of arthritis it is—is essential to determining the best treatment plan for you.

If you're providing care for a loved one, we've put together a set of videos that can help you understand everything involved.
(203) 732-7399
  • Monday, Tuesday, Friday: 9am-5pm
  • Wednesday, Thursday: 9am-8pm
  • Saturday: 11am-3pm
130 Division St.
Derby, CT 06418-1326