Both condition damages joints and affect their function.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis involving wear and tear to the cartilage onto the bones in the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition when the immune system attacks the lining of the joints resulting in swelling which can eventually lead to joint deformity.
The small joints the hand are affected by rheumatoid arthritis affecting the middle joints of the fingers and the joints where the fingers attach to the hand.
Osteoarthritis commonly affects the joints at the ends of the fingers and at the base of the thumb.
The same joints on both the side of the body are affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
In osteoarthritis the pain effect need not be symmetrical. So one hand or knee could be painful.