How to treat arthrosis of the knee so that it is effective? You need to help your body, reduce stress, normalize metabolism, improve bowel function, make it easier for the kidneys and liver. That is, to reduce excess weight, start eating right, reduce the amount of animal fats, meat, easily digestible carbohydrates. Include in the menu dishes made from vegetables, sour milk products, rye, bran bread or wholemeal flour.
Correct diagnosis is the key to treatment. Joint lesions are a symptom of many diseases with different treatment regimens. Therefore, a diagnostic error, and even more so an independent diagnosis can be too expensive for the patient.
The question of how to treat arthrosis of the knee joint is not new for modern medicine. For its treatment, there are now various methods, both therapeutic and surgical. Since recourse to surgical methods is always a last resort, consider therapeutic methods.
The effectiveness of treatment depends on the stage of destruction of the joint, its timeliness. It usually starts with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
They do not have a direct effect on the cause of the disease and do not stop the destruction of the joint, their effect is solely on reducing the main symptoms. Signs of inflammation decrease, swelling subsides, pain disappears or becomes much less.
With the help of anti-inflammatory drugs, strong pain sensations are relieved, which makes it possible to gradually switch to other methods of treatment, for example, massage, which would be contraindicated due to pain and inflammation.
But long-term use of these drugs is undesirable, as it masks the manifestations of the disease, creating a picture of a complete cure, but in fact the disease can progress. In addition, side effects can further enhance the processes of cartilage destruction. Therefore, if there is a question about the need for long-term use of drugs of this group, preference should be given to selective anti-inflammatory drugs.
If the diagnosis is established - arthrosis of the knee joint, vasodilators are prescribed: strengthening the nutrition of the cartilage, the synovial membrane of the joint stops destruction and enhances the recovery processes. To reduce the allergic component, desensitizing drugs are prescribed.
Chondroprotectors in the treatment of knee arthrosis
How to treat arthrosis of the knee joint without trying to restore the structure of the cartilage damaged by the disease?
For this, a group of drugs called chondroprotectors is used.
They not only act on individual symptoms, but affect the cause of the disease, helping to improve the condition of the cartilaginous surface, improving the production of joint fluid and its lubricating properties.
They improve the production of synovial fluid, improve its properties, and restore the cartilage substance. The only thing to remember is that you can restore only what is still there, but if the cartilage is completely absent, destroyed, there are bone marginal growths, these drugs will not help.
So, the best result from the use of chondroprotectors will be if you start using them early, no later than I or II degree of arthrosis of the knee joints, moreover, with long courses, several times a year.
Unfortunately, these tools are far from instantaneous. Sometimes 2-3 courses of treatment are required to obtain the result, and this takes from six months to one and a half years. And the drugs of this group are completely ineffective in the third stage of the disease, when the cartilage is already completely destroyed. But nevertheless, of all the drugs used for arthrosis, it is chondroprotectors that are most useful for the patient, in addition, they have almost no contraindications and side effects.
Intra-articular injections of drugs give a good effect, however, it should be borne in mind that the procedure itself can injure the tissues of the capsule and cause infection of the joint cavity. As a rule, corticosteroid drugs are injected into the joint. For long-term action, steroid hormones are used (if it is necessary to relieve severe inflammation).
This procedure is usually performed to provide emergency care to a patient. This achieves rapid relief of pain and inflammation. But it is undesirable for a number of reasons to inject into the same knee more often than once every 2 weeks.
If the joint is calmer, there are no obvious signs of inflammation, chondroprotectors can be injected directly into the joint, they quickly reach the goal and have a positive effect.
Significantly improves the sliding of the articular ends of the bone relative to each other and reduces the load on the cartilage injections of hyaluronic acid. Of course, these drugs are highly effective if there is no pronounced destruction of cartilage.
Patients often ask the question of how to treat knee arthrosis with external means? After all, the first thing you want to do with pain in your knee is to rub it and wrap it up warmly.
Unfortunately, neither ointments, nor creams, nor all kinds of rubbing can cure arthrosis. But they can alleviate the patient's condition, reducing pain and not acting irritatingly on the gastrointestinal tract, as anti-inflammatory drugs. Warming ointments are used, as well as ointments based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The skin absorbs only 5-7% of the active substance, so the effect of these ointments is not as effective as we would like.
But compresses for arthrosis of the knee joint are more effective. For them, medical bile can be recommended. They relieve inflammation directly in its focus, have resolving and analgesic effects.
Massage and physiotherapy
Physiotherapy for arthrosis also has a positive effect. Such procedures as ultrasound, laser, magnetotherapy, phonophoresis are used. Thanks to them, the pain sensitivity of the joints decreases, the inflammatory processes in them decrease, and the swelling is removed.
You can use radon, salt baths, apply compresses with bile.
If possible, you can undergo a course of manual therapy, traction. In this case, the ends of the bones move away from each other and the load on them decreases. Only manipulations should be carried out very carefully and by a qualified specialist. Manual therapy and massage of the knee joint also give good results, improving blood circulation in the diseased joint, stopping the development of destructive processes in it and restoring its function to the extent possible.
Massage is especially effective in the initial stages of the disease, when it has not yet had its full destructive effect. It is good to do it after exercise of remedial gymnastics. Taking a hot shower or being in a steam room is a good preparation step for a massage. After that, the muscles are warmed up, and the massage has a deeper healing effect. In the treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint, sanatoriums also have a beneficial effect. Healing mud improves the course of regenerative processes in the cartilage, improves the supply of useful substances to the joints and the blood supply to them.
If the joint is completely destroyed, only surgical treatment can help - replacing it with an artificial one.
Preventive measures: reduce the destruction process
Prevention of arthrosis stems from the causes of its occurrence, the main of which are excess weight, trauma, and poor physical activity. Physical education, performing feasible physical exercises strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints. Thanks to this, the load on the cartilage becomes less. Morning walks and swimming are useful.
At the same time, it is important to observe the alternation of load and rest and proper safety during exercise. It is necessary to avoid injury and overload in every possible way. After all, it is injuries that are one of the main causes of arthrosis. The appearance of microcracks determines the presence of initial foci of inflammation. Therefore, for athletes and sports enthusiasts, one should not forget about such protective equipment as knee pads.
Prevention of arthrosis of the knee joint also implies adherence to diet. Each extra pound of weight puts additional stress on the joints of the legs. You need to eat less sweet and starchy foods, and fruits and vegetables - as much as possible. Studies show that vegetarians are much less likely to develop arthrosis. Coffee and strong tea have a bad effect on the joints, they wash out calcium from the bones, but natural dairy products help to replenish its reserves.