Arthrosis is a chronic disease of the joints, accompanied by pathological changes in the hyaline cartilage, and subsequently in the adjacent tissues, joint capsule and synovium.
The lesion is dystrophic and degenerative, which leads to a change in the structure of articular tissues, loss of their functionality. According to the same statistics, 12% of the total population of the planet is susceptible to arthrosis. From 62% to 65% of all episodes of the disease occur in people over the age of 60.
Another 30-35% of cases of joint damage with this pathology occur in patients aged 40-60 years. And about 3% are young people aged 20-40.
In simple words, arthrosis is a chronic disease in which progressive degenerative-dystrophic changes develop in the joint due to metabolic disturbances. It is the most common joint pathology, diagnosed in 6-7% of the population. With age, the incidence increases dramatically.
The small joints of the hand (in women 10 times more often than in men), the big toe, the intervertebral joints of the thoracic and cervical spine, as well as the knee and hip joints are most often involved in the pathological process in arthrosis. Arthrosis of the knee and hip joints takes the leading place in terms of the severity of clinical manifestations and negative impact on the quality of life.
Arthrosis is characterized by a complex lesion of the articular and auxiliary apparatus:
The disease is diagnosed in 2% of people under 45 years old, in 30% - from 45 to 64 years old and in 65-85% - at the age of 65 years and older. Arthrosis of the large and medium joints of the extremities has the greatest clinical significance due to its negative impact on the standard of living and working capacity of patients.
Depending on the cause of the pathological process inside the joint, primary arthrosis is distinguished, secondary and idiopathic.
Primary develops as an independent disease, secondary, as a result of an injury or infection, and the cause of the idiopathic form is not known. In addition to the classification of the disease, depending on the cause of the pathological process, arthrosis is distinguished according to the location of the destructive changes:
Two reasons contribute to the formation of arthrosis - stress and lack of adequate nutrition, which supplies vitamins and minerals for tissue repair. Every person's joints carry a load. For athletes and dancers, during physical work, the load on the legs is greater, which means that the bone joints wear out faster and require high-quality nutrition. With a quiet lifestyle, the support apparatus wears out more slowly, but also requires periodic tissue renewal.
Therefore, the main condition for the destruction and deformation of the joints is malnutrition, the indigestion of useful components, which often occurs with metabolic disorders.
Let's list the factors that contribute to the wear of the articular joints and metabolic disorders:
The likelihood of arthrosis increases with strong physical exertion.
If the daily loads exceed the capacity of the bone tissues, microtrauma is formed in them. At the sites of injury, thickenings appear, which grow over time and deform the joint;
Osteoarthritis is a disease of worn out joints that have lost a significant supply of minerals and the ability to resist stress and destruction. Therefore, with age, the predisposition to the disease increases. After 70 years, arthrosis is diagnosed in every second pensioner. Since the maximum load falls on the legs (a person moves - walks, stands, runs, jumps), it is here that the first signs of arthrosis form.
When any of the reasons provoking a disease of the joint with arthrosis appears, pathological processes begin to develop in it. The mechanism of their progression is not fully understood, but the main stages of official medicine are known.
At the initial stage, there is a depletion of the structure of the cartilage tissue and abnormal changes in the synovial fluid. All this occurs due to metabolic disorders, in which the tissues of the joints do not receive the necessary components in sufficient quantities, or are deprived of some of them.
Further, the elasticity of collagen fibers and the flexibility of the cartilage are lost, due to the fact that in the body with a lack of nutrients, hyaluronic acid does not have time to be produced, which provides softness and flexibility of the structural composition of collagen fiber. The cartilage gradually dries out, becomes brittle and cracks. The fluid in the synovial capsule is gradually depleted and subsequently disappears completely.
Roughness and solid bone growths are formed on the cartilage tissue. At the same time, deformation of other tissues of the joint develops, their pathological degeneration, dystrophy and loss of physiological activity. For the patient, these changes mean the appearance of pain, lameness, joint stiffness.
Acute clinical picture is not typical for arthrosis, joint changes are progressive, slowly increasing, which is manifested by a gradual increase in symptoms:
Pain in arthrosis is dull, transient, appears when moving, against a background of intense stress, towards the end of the day (it can be so intense that it does not allow the patient to fall asleep). The constant, non-mechanical nature of pain for arthrosis is uncharacteristic and indicates the presence of active inflammation (subchondral bone, synovium, ligamentous apparatus or periarticular muscles).
Most patients note the presence of so-called starting pains that occur in the morning after waking up or after a long period of inactivity and disappear in the course of physical activity. Many patients define this condition as the need to “develop a joint” or “disengage. ”
Arthrosis is characterized by morning stiffness, which has a clear localization and is of a short-term nature (no more than 30 minutes), sometimes it is perceived by patients as a "jelly feeling" in the joints. Feeling of wedging, stiffness is possible.
With the development of reactive synovitis, the main symptoms of arthrosis are joined by:
In the course of the disease, medicine distinguishes between three stages, which differ in the signs of the disease, the intensity of the lesion and localization. At the same time, the differences in all three stages relate to the types of tissues undergoing pathological changes.
In addition to these three degrees of development of pathology, there is a final stage - the irreversible destruction of all tissues of the joint. In this phase, it is impossible not only to conduct effective therapy, but even to relieve pain.
The inflammatory process usually begins in the second degree of the lesion, in rare cases, in the absence of medical intervention - in the first stage. Subsequently, it becomes more and more difficult to stop it, and this can lead to secondary pathologies, the development of pathogenic microflora in the place of localization of the disease.
To exclude severe consequences, treatment should be started from the first degree, and at the same time, intensive therapy methods should be applied. At the last stage, associated with the complete destruction of the cartilaginous tissue, only one technique is allowed to relieve the patient of pain and immobility of the joint - arthroplasty with complete or partial replacement of the component parts of the joint.
The consequences of untimely treatment and advanced arthrosis of the joints are fraught with complications such as:
The chronic course, in addition to these complications, is accompanied by intense and frequent soreness, complete destruction of the structural components of the joint, discomfort, inability to perform physical work and play sports.
Diagnosis of arthrosis is based on the assessment of anamnestic data, characteristic manifestations of the disease, the results of instrumental research methods. Indicative changes in general and biochemical blood tests are not typical for arthrosis, they appear only with the development of an active inflammatory process.
The main instrumental method for diagnosing arthrosis is radiography; in diagnostically unclear cases, computed or magnetic resonance imaging is recommended.
Arthrosis of the knee and hip joints takes the leading place in terms of the severity of clinical manifestations and negative impact on the quality of life.
Additional diagnostic methods:
It is better to treat arthrosis of the joints at an early stage, the treatment itself should be pathogenetic and complex. Its essence lies in removing the causes that contribute to the development of this disease, it is also necessary to eliminate inflammatory changes and restore functions that were previously lost.
The treatment of arthrosis is based on several basic principles:
Drug treatment is carried out in the phase of exacerbation of arthrosis, selected by a specialist. Self-medication is unacceptable due to possible side effects (for example, the negative effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on the gastric mucosa).
Therapy includes the following drugs:
To relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve microcirculation and eliminate muscle spasms, a patient with arthrosis is referred for physiotherapy:
In addition, thermal procedures, sulfide, radon and sea baths are used. To strengthen the muscles, electrical stimulation is performed. Gentle massage can also be used during remission.
If the listed methods of exposure are ineffective, in the presence of complications, they resort to surgical treatment of arthrosis:
In the early stages of the disease, mechanical, laser or cold plasma debridement is used (smoothing the surface of damaged cartilage, removing nonviable areas). This method effectively relieves pain, but has a temporary effect - 2-3 years.
Most people these days don't want to take pills or injections. Therefore, they ask the question - how to cure arthrosis with the help of folk remedies? For the most part, such funds are aimed at increasing the tone of the body, improving blood circulation, relieving pain and increasing immunity.
Traditional medicine recipes are used to treat this disease:
Tinctures of bay leaves, horseradish, garlic and rye grains are also considered effective. Treatment of arthrosis with folk remedies will be most effective if combined with medication.
The basic principles of nutrition for arthrosis are reduced to the following points:
There are absolutely no complaints about fish dishes - you can eat a lot of them, naturally, in reasonable quantities.
Following the treatment regimen prescribed by the doctor, it is possible to achieve that the disease recedes, and the damaged tissue begins to regenerate.
Prevention of arthrosis begins with proper nutrition. It is necessary to try to reduce the intake of salt, as well as food that can disrupt metabolism. These include legumes, fatty meats, and alcohol. Diet includes cabbage, greens and fish.
For the prevention of arthrosis, it is necessary to attend physical education classes, do warm-ups. If possible, it is better to walk a few kilometers. It is also important to monitor your weight and prevent weight gain, as this will put additional stress on sore joints. It is not recommended to take pills for the purpose of losing weight, as they can disrupt the metabolism in the body.
The outlook for life is favorable. The favorableness of social and labor prognosis depends on the timeliness of diagnosis and initiation of treatment; it decreases when the decision on the issue of surgical treatment of the disease is delayed, if necessary.