Causes, symptoms and treatment of arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a disease the symptoms of which everyone should know. This dangerous and very common pathology in the early stage may be almost unnoticeable, however, as the game progresses, can cause unbearable pain and even lead to disability. How to avoid it, we'll talk in our article.

what is arthrosis

What causes arthritis and when should I begin treatment

Pain in the joints, "clicks" during movement and decreased mobility of the extremities often go unnoticed: most people don't give importance to such signals from the body. Meanwhile, these symptoms may indicate serious disease — osteoarthritis.

Arthrosis deformans, is a disease that involves the destruction and thinning of the articular cartilage. The tissue of the joint becomes more loose and grows, ultimately leading to the emergence of bony outgrowths and inflammation inside the joint.

In the early stage, patients experience little discomfort during movement, which can not be ignored. In the second stage of the disease having severe pain, leading to restriction of joint mobility. The third stage, in addition to pain, accompanied by complete or almost complete destruction of articular cartilage.

Significantly slow the progression of arthritis, to help maintain mobility of limbs and to avoid major surgical intervention is possible by means of timely treatment — this is why it is so important at the first symptoms, consult a rheumatologist.

Treatment of osteoarthritis

From the point of view of European medicine, the treatment of such serious diseases as osteoarthritis requires a comprehensive approach taking into account the symptoms at different stages of the disease. The complex of therapeutic measures besides taking medications that include weight loss, kinesiotherapy, physical therapy, and if necessary, prescribe surgery. The treatment program is drawn up by the rheumatology taking into account the localization of the disease, the characteristics of the patient, but necessarily involves a range of actions aimed at combating manifestations of the disease.

osteoarthritis treatment


The first problem arising in the treatment of arthritis is the pain and inflammation in the joint. For this prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, Ketorolac, piroxicam, diclofenac and their derivatives in the form of tablets, injections, gels, ointments, or rectal suppositories. Remember that the use of this group of drugs only relieves the main symptoms of the disease. Moreover, the prolonged use of NSAIDs can accelerate the process of destruction of cartilage, so need to take with great caution and only on prescription.

Use of analgesics is another way to save the patient from pain. Unlike NSAID analgesics to a lesser extent, relieve inflammation, but more effective in dealing with pain. If you experience muscle spasms prescribe antispasmodics, such as "Mydocalm". Both groups of drugs most often used in the form of injection for relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis, and to deal with the very disease they are ineffective.

Chondroprotectors are one of the most important components of the medical treatment of osteoarthritis: they saturate the cartilage with nutrients, stimulating cell growth. To the group of chondroprotectors include, for example, glucosamine, produced in the form of tablets or capsules. We should not expect a rapid effect from the use of chondroprotectors: improving the condition of cartilage can notice only after long administration of drugs. In addition, they will not help in that case, if the disease has reached the third, heaviest stage.

Vasodilator drugs used to improve blood flow and to eliminate the spasm of small blood vessels. Receiving these drugs in combination with chondro increases the effects last: nutrients come in the cartilage tissue to a greater extent.

Physical therapy

  1. Shock-wave therapy. The use of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (SWT) for osteoarthritis allows you to eliminate one of the main causes of pain: shipoopie bony outgrowths — osteophytes. Under the influence of ultrasonic waves "spikes" soften and dissolve with time, improves the efficiency of blood flow and metabolic processes. With all the advantages of shock-wave therapy is effective only in the early stages of osteoarthritis and has a lot of contraindications, therefore, assigned with caution.
  2. Automated electromyostimulation with the plumbing. The use of electrical impulses for muscle contraction, it is advisable especially for bedridden patients, as well as in the event of severe injuries when the necessary exercise is contraindicated. Although electromyostimulation is not the most common purpose for osteoarthritis, its use helps to increase muscle tone and improve circulation, which positively affects the dynamics of the process.
  3. Phonophoresis. This procedure combines the two effects — ultrasonic waves and medicines. As a result, the conduct of phonophoresis allows to significantly increase the effects of drugs: the ultrasound of their substance are delivered to the "target" cells and digested by those much more active.
  4. The ozone therapy. The introduction of the gas mixture in the joint capsule reduces pain and inflammation, contributes to the restoration of joint mobility, improves blood circulation. As a rule, ozone therapy, prescribe a course of several injections depending on the severity of the disease.

Methods of traditional Chinese medicine

arthritis Chinese medicine

In Chinese medicine restore joint health begins with the diagnosis, during which the General condition of the body and reveals the underlying cause of osteoarthritis. The doctor then is the impact of the program on biologically active points. Complex treatment of osteoarthritis includes the following methods of TCM:

  • acupuncture (acupuncture) — formulation of fine needles at points in a certain combination;
  • fitocompleks — "extracts" of herbs;
  • massoterapia — warming sagebrush cigars;
  • acupressure massage thuine.

The main attention is paid to acupuncture as the most effective method of treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Results of therapy largely depend on the qualifications of the specialist. Being in the hands of a skilled doctor, the patient will soon be able to note the improvement of health, accompanied by pain relief, restoration of mobility of joints, strengthening of immune system, normalization of blood circulation and metabolism[2].

Other methods of nonsurgical treatment of osteoarthritis:

  • Physiotherapy. Physical therapy in osteoarthritis is a great way to improve circulation in the area affected joint and to strengthen the muscles. Typically, the doctor recommends to start with simple exercises, gradually increasing the number of repetitions.
  • Mechanic. Physical therapy can be supplemented with therapy exercises using special training equipment. The apparatus allow to increase the load while exercising (due to different weights), while protecting from damage the patient's joint. As physical therapy, hydrotherapy helps to improve blood circulation, increase muscle tone.
  • Traction of joints. The procedure involves a mechanical "pulling" of the joint on a special machine for 15-20 minutes. This reduces the load on the joint, to slow the progression of osteoarthritis and significantly reduce pain in a patient. The course, consisting of 10-12 sessions, to improve and consolidate the results hold approximately every six months.
  • Lymphatic drainage and warming massage. These procedures contribute to the warming of the patient area, relieve spasm and pain, improve circulation in the joints. Lymphatic drainage and warm-up massage can be applied with limited mobility of the patient.
  • The purpose of the diet. Weight gain is one way to significantly reduce the load on the joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis. Of course, maintaining a diet itself is not conducive to recovery, but in combination with other treatments can give a certain effect.
  • Correction lifestyle. To combat osteoarthritis, the patient will need to significantly revise the habitual way of life and begin to only wear comfortable shoes, use comfortable furniture, women will have to give up high heels. It is also advisable to get rid of bad habits and to eliminate excessive exercise. In some cases will benefit from wearing the orthosis, regular visits to the pool and baths. A comprehensive list of recommendations can be obtained from the attending physician that the will be based on the patient's condition.

Surgical treatment

  1. Puncture (minimally invasive intervention). Used for diagnosis of the disease. The joint capsule insert the needle, taking part of the fluid — this allows you to get material for analyses, to reduce the load on the capsule, and if necessary also to introduce a corticosteroid drugs directly into the inflammatory focus.
  2. Diagnostic arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is the insertion of a special apparatus of the arthroscope through the incisions in the skin. This allows you to carefully inspect the joint, and remove separated fragments of cartilage, eliminating the causes of inflammation and pain.
  3. Corrective osteotomy. The essence of this surgical procedure consists in sawing the bone of the patient with their subsequent fixation from a different angle. The operation reduces the load on the joint and eliminate pain for a longer period. Such a radical action is assigned to infrequently — too much of a burden on the patient and prolonged period of rehabilitation.
  4. The endoprosthesis. In cases where other treatments have not helped, and the disease is completely or almost completely destroyed the joint are replaced by prostheses made of plastic, metal or ceramic. Arthroplasty is a heavy and expensive operation, requiring long-term rehabilitation. Many patients for several months after surgery pain. However, the endoprosthesis for a patient is often the only alternative to the prospect of being immobilized. The life of a modern prosthesis reaches twenty years, and all these years the patient can live a full life.

Symptoms and treatment of arthritis different types

the symptoms of osteoarthritis

Despite similarities in symptoms, arthrosis of different joints has its own signs and therapies. For example, the use of ointments for osteoarthritis of the hip joint is ineffective for muscle and adipose tissue, preventing the ingress of the drug to the site of inflammation. But the same ointment well when applied to the elbow or knee joint. Let's look at what symptoms are characteristic of osteoarthritis of the joints (ankle, knee, elbow, shoulder, finger and hip) and what treatment is suitable for each of the cases.

  • Treatment of osteoarthritis of hand joints (fingers). At an early stage of the disease gives himself a small crunch and mild pain in the arm movements, but in the absence of treatment becomes visible: on the phalanges in the joints leading to strong thickening. The pain intensifies and becomes constant, there is burning sensation and pulsating in my fingers. To relieve pain and inflammation used NSAIDs and corticosteroids to slow down the destruction of cartilage massage, chondroprotectors, stretching fingers.
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. Painful muscle spasms, reduced mobility of hands, "a shot" at raising and allocating them to the sides — all these are symptoms of osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint. Prescribed massage, exercise therapy combined with the use of antispasmodics intra-articular injections and painkillers.
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis of the elbow joint. Symptoms of elbow joint is a loud crunching sound when bending the arms at the elbows and moving the hands, "shooting" pain and weakness in muscles. For getting rid of this type of arthrosis apply physiotherapy, compresses and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of ointments.
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip joint. For osteoarthritis of the hip is characterized by "soft" cracking joints, painful or uncomfortable sensations in the lower back when driving or exhaustion. In the treatment of diseases prescribe painkillers in the form of injections, capsules or tablets, compresses with anti-inflammatory solutions.
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. In gonarthrosis patients complain about the crunchy sounds when moving, pain in the calf area, especially under heavy loads, the increase in size of the joint. In the complex therapy includes: extracorporeal shock wave therapy, traction of the joints, physiotherapy, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ointments), and the use of compresses.
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis of the ankle joint. A tingling sensation, redness, crepitation, clicks per region of the foot fatigue when walking — these symptoms indicate the development of arthrosis of the ankle joint. When treating this type of disease effective physiotherapy, massage and therapeutic baths. You should also reduce the load on the ankle.

To avoid the occurrence of osteoarthritis, especially if you have a predisposition, you should follow a simple rule: wear comfortable shoes, maintain physical activity, while respecting the measure under load to avoid injuries and hypothermia. For the prevention of disease is especially important to maintain normal weight, because every extra kilogram increases the load on the joints.