Osteoarthritis: what is it, and how to treat affected joints?

Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis is a dystrophic change in articular cartilage that is not inflammatory. This process occurs in most cases as a result of natural aging of the body.

According to statistics, arthrosis is considered a fairly common ailment, as they suffer from different estimates from 10% to 15% of residents of different countries.

This disease is typical for the age category of 45 years or more. Although there are exceptions, when arthrosis is observed in a less age group of people, as a consequence of the traumas, serious illnesses, fractures peculiar to a greater extent to athletes.

The most common arthrosis of the knee, hip and phalangeal joints. Traditionally, there are two types of arthrosis: primary - arising on the general background of age-related changes in the body, and secondary - developed as a result of trauma, excessive physical exertion, an infectious or other disease, for example, diabetes mellitus.

As a rule, patients experience arthrosis pain in a state of stress, but it is wo

rthwhile for them to sit down or lie down in a comfortable position for the affected limb, as the pain manifestations subside. As the disease progresses, the characteristic crunch of joints intensifies, the amplitude of the usual joint movements decreases, and deformation of the joint components is observed.

Osteoarthritis - what is it?

Why arthrosis occurs, and what is it? The disease develops due to a metabolic disorder in the joint, which in turn leads to the fact that the cartilage begins to lose elasticity. This can be facilitated by a complete or partial loss of proteoglycans from the cartilage, as a rule, because of rather deep cracks in the cartilage itself.

The loss of proteoglycan can also occur for another reason: because of the failure of their production by the cells of the joint.

  1. Arthrosis primary - begins without any noticeable cause and affects unchanged articular cartilage simultaneously in many joints;is more often observed in persons older than 40 years. Primary arthrosis is also a consequence of a violation of the ratios in cartilage tissue synthesis and degeneration, and is accompanied by a disorder of the function of chondrocytes. In cartilage with arthrosis changes, destruction processes predominate.
  2. The main causes of secondary arthrosis are significant changes in metabolic processes: blood supply, salt exchange and outflow of lymph, hormonal disorders in the assimilation of the necessary joint substances. Hormonal changes leading to arthrosis are often found in older and older women when regular changes in the hormonal background occur.

The risk group can include people:

  • with excessive body weight;
  • with hereditary disorders;
  • of the elderly;
  • with specific professions;
  • with metabolic disorders in the body;
  • with micronutrient deficiency;
  • suffered a trauma on the spine;
  • engaged in some sports.

The insidiousness of arthrosis lies in the fact that pathological changes in the cartilaginous tissue of the affected joint have not been manifested for a long time by any symptoms - pain and difficulty of movements become noticeable only at the moment when the destruction reaches the periosteum located under the cartilage.

Osteoarthritis symptoms

Osteoarthritis 1, 2 and 3 degrees

There are three degrees of joint arthrosis:

  1. 1 degree of disease occurs almost without palpable symptoms. Only occasionally can painful sensations occur during movement or other forms of physical activity. Already in the first stage of arthrosis, pathological changes occur in the synovial fluid of the joint, while the muscular apparatus weakens, but does not undergo any changes.
  2. 2 degree of arthrosis is marked by the onset of joint destruction, the first osteophytes appear. Pain becomes tolerable, but pronounced. A crunch is heard distinctly in the affected joints. There is a violation of the muscular functions due to the violation of reflex neurotrophic regulation.
  3. 3 degree of arthrosis - articular cartilage is thinned, there are extensive foci of destruction. There is a significant deformation of the articular site with a change in the axis of the limb. Because of the disruption of the normal relationship between the anatomical structures of the joint and the extensive pathological changes in the connective tissue, the ligaments become inadequate and shorten, resulting in the development of pathological mobility of the joint in conjunction with the restriction of the natural volume of movements. There are contractures and subluxations. Periarticular muscles are stretched or shortened, the ability to contract is weakened. The nutrition of the joint and surrounding tissues is disturbed.

The course of the disease is characterized by stages of exacerbation and stages of remission. This significantly complicates the independent diagnosis of arthrosis, relying only on their own sensations. Therefore it is necessary to apply for specification of the diagnosis to the doctor.

Symptoms of

Arthrosis has certain first signs, based on its classification, but there is also a generalized list:

  1. Pain syndrome, which is amplified in wet weather and from freezing;
  2. The joint increases in volume due to deformities and osteophytes;
  3. The skin temperature around the affected joint increases. A general increase in temperature may be observed.
  4. The joint begins to swell, swelling and compaction are observed;
  5. With tension and work of the joint, a crunch or creak sounds from the friction of the bone formations.

In later stages, pain can also occur in a calm state due to blood stagnation and increased intraosseous pressure.

Symptoms of arthrosis

Osteoarthritis refers to the category of chronic diseases. Sometimes the disease can go unnoticed for years, only occasionally reminding of pain when you load on a joint or an awkward movement.

But it also happens that the disease is rapidly developing to a severe stage in just a few months. In any case, it is important to remember, if you do not treat arthrosis, its symptoms will eventually increase, worsening the quality of life, and in severe cases - leading to disability and immobilization.

So, with arthrosis, the main symptoms are as follows:

  1. Aching in joint .It is especially evident in all kinds of loads on the joint, while walking on the stairs.
  2. Sore and crack in joint .The ache is manifested by hypothermia. Crunch at first is not strong, but in the absence of treatment, in time it will be heard by others.
  3. Appearance of swelling .This symptom is characterized by another joint disease - arthritis. But with arthrosis there is swelling only with exacerbations and is accompanied not by acute pain, but with aching. It is very noticeable and causes considerable inconvenience.

Sometimes the pain may intensify by the evening. Sometimes the pain in the joint is very active, the manifestation of it depends on the load. In youth, arthrosis can develop from great physical exertion or after trauma.

Osteoarthritis signs

Diagnosis of arthrosis

Diagnosis is based, first of all, on the determination of such a predisposing factor as the appearance of pain and discomfort in the movements of the joints. If the above signs of the disease occur, it is possible to perform an X-ray, radionuclide and morphological study.

All studies are conducted only in clinical settings and conclusions on them should be given only by qualified specialists. On our website, you can always ask questions about symptoms, treatment and prevention of arthrosis in the comments below.


Preventative measures to prevent arthrosis are available to everyone. They include moderate physical activity( it should not cause joint pain), a balanced diet and daily consumption of all basic microelements and vitamins.

Often getting rid of arthrosis is hampered by overweight, so you should pay very careful attention to your diet and, if necessary, to follow a diet.

It is also necessary to remember that arthrosis belongs to the category of chronic diseases. In other words, the main criterion for the effectiveness of treatment is the achievement of a prolonged remission and improvement of the patient's condition.

Osteoarthritis treatment

Treatment of arthrosis

With diagnosed arthrosis, treatment at this time is a serious and urgent problem. And although the amount of medicines used for arthrosis is constantly increasing, they have only a symptomatic effect. And while none of the drugs has become a panacea in the treatment of joints.

The plan and methods of treatment depend on the stage and symptoms of arthrosis, often initially relieve the pain, because in the second and third stages of the disease they can be very painful. Also, anti-inflammatory therapy is possible with concomitant inflammation of the joint.

The basic scheme of medical treatment of arthrosis implies the use of:

  1. NSAIDs: Ibuprofen, Nimesulide, Diclofenac in order to reduce the pain syndrome and eliminate the inflammatory process.
  2. Drugs from the group of chondroprotectors , which includes such active components as glucose and chondroitin.
  3. In severe cases, may require intra-articular injection of corticosteroids : Hydrocortisone, Diprospan. These drugs quickly eliminate the inflammatory process and normalize the mobility of the affected joint.
  4. After elimination of the inflammatory process, may require the intra-articular injection of hyaluronic acid , which acts as a lubricant and prevents joint friction, eliminates pain, improves mobility and stimulates the production of its own hyaluronate.

To return the joint affected by arthrosis to a large extent, it is possible only by performing a surgical operation to replace the joint, without surgery it is not yet possible.

Operative intervention of

At the advanced stages of osteoarthritis of knee joints, medication treatment may no longer be effective, and then a decision should be made on operational methods of recovery.

There are several types of surgical intervention:

  1. Arthroplasty .Replacing the articular cartilage with an artificial lining. After the operation, the pain is significantly reduced and the mobility increases. Arthroscopy. It does not require a long recovery period, it is well suited for patients of all ages. It is necessary to prevent the destruction of the joint. During the operation, the inflamed areas are removed - this is done with a thin probe and auxiliary tools.
  2. Prosthetics .Replacement of all components of the joint with artificial analogs. By the way, modern prostheses are made of special metal, which is not rejected by the body. Such transplants serve an average of about ten years. After such intervention, patients can lead a full-fledged lifestyle.

At home, as prescribed by the doctor, the patient can use distractions in the form of ointments, sweets, gels, infusions of herbs. Good results are provided by physiotherapy, acupuncture, hirudotherapy( treatment with leeches), and also sanatorium treatment in the stage of remission( attenuation of the disease) with the use of natural mud and mineral baths.

Exercises for the treatment of arthrosis

An indispensable condition in the treatment of arthrosis is the use of various types of exercises in order to prevent muscle atrophy and weakening of ligaments.

Exercises for the treatment of arthrosis are selected individually for each patient by the attending physician and a physiotherapist. The exercises are started only after relieving the exacerbation, but not later than 5-6 days after the pain syndrome is removed.

The task of the exercises for the treatment of arthrosis is to restore joint mobility, aerobic training, increase strength and flexibility of muscles and joints.

How to treat arthrosis with folk remedies?

When arthrosis drug treatment can not be avoided, but usually the doctor prescribes complex treatment, advising to use folk remedies. But you need to know that the treatment of arthrosis, including unconventional medicine, is based on a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, to all this people's recipes are added.

  1. Birch leaves, nettle leaves and calendula inflorescence are taken in equal parts. In the end, you need to get two tablespoons. We lower the received crushed collection in a thermos, pour a liter of boiling water and leave for the night. Starting the next morning, you must take half a cup of broth four to five times a day. The course of taking this recipe is two to three months.
  2. Egg solution is prepared from fresh egg yolk, which is mixed with turpentine and apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 1: 1: 1. The liquid must be thoroughly mixed and rubbed with its affected joint for the whole night. Then you need to wrap everything with a woolen shawl. It is recommended to perform rubbing for 1 month 2-3 times a week.
  3. Celery. 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed celery juice drink up to 3 times a day. You can use a decoction. Brew 1 tbsp.spoon fresh roots 2 cups of boiling water and let it brew under the lid for 4 hours. Drink 2 tablespoons.spoon up to 4 times a day for 30 minutes before meals.
  4. You need a piece of soft fabric made of wool, without synthetic impurities and cabbage heads. To start, you need to grind the head, then it's good to crush it with a mortar or with your hands, it is advisable to use non-oxidizable utensils. After that, you can squeeze the juice in the juicer. Now we take the prepared fabric and moisten it in cabbage juice, put this compress on the sick joint. I would also like to note that the squeezed juice can be stored for no more than three days from the moment of spinning.
  5. The use of boiled oat flakes also gives good results. Take three to four tablespoons of oatmeal, pour boiling water and cook on low heat for five to seven minutes. The amount of water used should provide a thick porridge, which should be cooled and used as a compress at night. Use only freshly cooked flakes. Yesterday's porridge for compresses is not suitable.
  6. In the pharmacy the root of elecampane is acquired. As a rule, it is packaged in packs of 50 gr. To make the tincture, you need half a cup of plant roots and 150ml of quality vodka. The ingredients are mixed, placed in a dark bottle and infused for 12 days. Rubbing is performed before bedtime, and if possible in the morning.

The general treatment of arthrosis with folk remedies is not capable of completely replacing standard therapies( medication, physiotherapy, massage, exercise therapy), but it can significantly alleviate the symptoms of the disease, enhance the effect of other therapies and accelerate recovery.

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