How do we treat knee osteoarthritis to make it effective? You need to help your body, reduce stress, normalize metabolism, improve intestinal function, facilitate the kidneys and liver. That is, to reduce excess weight, start eating right, reduce the amount of animal fats, meat, easily digestible carbohydrates. Include dishes made from vegetables, fermented dairy products, rye, bran bread or wholemeal in the menu.
Correct diagnosis is the key to treatment. Joint damage is a symptom of many diseases, with different treatment regimens. Therefore, diagnostic error and even more so, independent diagnosis can be very costly for the patient.
The question of how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee is not new to new medicine. There are now various methods for its treatment, both therapeutic and surgical. Since the use of surgical methods is always a last resort, consider therapeutic methods.
The effectiveness of treatment depends on the stage of destruction of the joint, its time. It usually starts with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
They have no direct effect on the pathogen and do not stop the destruction of the joint, their action is only to reduce the main symptoms. Signs of inflammation are reduced, swelling slows down, pain disappears or is greatly reduced.
With the help of anti-inflammatory drugs, strong pain sensations are relieved, which allows you to gradually switch to other methods of treatment, such as massage, which are contraindicated due to pain and inflammation.
But prolonged use of this medication is undesirable because it masks the manifestations of the disease, creates a complete cure picture, but in reality the disease can progress. In addition, side effects can further enhance cartilage destruction processes. Therefore, if there is a question about the need for long-term use of this group of drugs, selective anti-inflammatory drugs should be preferred.
In case of diagnosis - Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is prescribed vasodilators: strengthening the nutrition of the cartilage, the synovial membrane of the joint stops the destruction and enhances the recovery process. Sensitive drugs are prescribed to reduce the allergic component.
Chondroprotectors in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee
How to treat osteoarthritis of the knee joint if we do not try to restore the damaged cartilage structure?
A group of medications called chondroprotectors are used for this purpose.
They not only act on individual symptoms, but also affect the pathogen, help improve the condition of the cartilaginous surface, improve joint fluid production and its lubricating properties.
They improve the production of synovial fluid, improve its properties and restore cartilage. The only thing to remember is that you can only restore what is still there, but if the cartilage is not completely destroyed, there is marginal bone growth, these medications will not work.
So, the best result of using chondroprotectors will be their use earlier, not later than for grade I or II arthrosis of the knee joints and long courses, several times a year.
Unfortunately, these tools are not instant. Sometimes 2-3 courses of treatment are needed to get the result and it takes from six months to one and a half years. And drugs of this group are completely ineffective in the third stage of the disease, when the cartilage is already completely destroyed. Nevertheless, chondroprotectors are the most useful of all the drugs used in osteoarthritis, in addition, they have almost no contraindications and side effects.
Intra-articular injections of medications work well, however it should be remembered that this procedure can damage the capsule tissues and lead to infection of the joint cavity. Corticosteroids are usually injected into the joint. Steroid hormones are used for long-term action (if it is necessary to relieve acute inflammation).
This procedure is usually performed to provide emergency care to the patient. This achieves rapid relief of pain and inflammation. But it is undesirable for many reasons to inject 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 target and have a positive effect.
Significantly improves the slip of the articular joints compared to each other and reduces the load on cartilage injections of hyaluronic acid. Of course, these drugs are very effective if there is no sharp destruction of the cartilage.
Patients often ask the question, how should we treat osteoarthritis of the knee by external means? After all, the first thing you want to do when you have a knee pain is to rub it and wrap it warmly.
Unfortunately, neither ointments, nor creams, nor all sorts of blame can cure osteoarthritis. But they can alleviate the patient's condition, reduce pain and do not act as an irritant to 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 action of these ointments is not as effective as we would like.
But compresses are more effective for osteoarthritis of the knee joint. They may be recommended for medical bile. They relieve inflammation directly in its focus, have a resolving and analgesic action.
Massage and physiotherapy
Physiotherapy for osteoarthritis also has a positive effect. Used in procedures such as ultrasound, laser, magnetotherapy, phonophoresis. Thanks to them, the sensitivity of joint pain is reduced, inflammatory processes in them are reduced and swelling is relieved.
You can use radon, salt baths, use compresses with bile.
If possible, you can take a course of manual therapy, traction. In this case, the ends of the bones are spaced apart and the load on them is reduced. Only manipulation should be performed by a very careful and qualified specialist. Hand therapy and massage of the knee joint also give good results, improve blood circulation in the diseased joint, stop the development of destructive processes in it and restore its function as much as possible.
Massage is especially effective in the early stages of the disease, when it has not yet had a complete destructive effect. It is good to do this after a healthy workout. 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. Sanatoriums also have beneficial effects in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Healing mud improves the flow of regenerative processes in the cartilage, improves the supply of nutrients to the joints and the blood supply to them.
If the joint is completely destroyed, only surgical treatment can help - replace it with an artificial one.
Preventive measures: Reduce the destruction process
Prevention of osteoarthritis is due to its causes, the main causes of which are overweight, trauma and poor physical activity. Physical education, performing physical exercises strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints. Thanks to this, the load on the cartilage becomes less. Walking and swimming in the morning is beneficial.
At the same time, it is important to observe the alternation of load and rest and proper safety during exercise. Damage and overload must be avoided at all costs. After all, these are injuries that are one of the leading causes of osteoarthritis. The appearance of microcracks determines the presence of initial foci of inflammation. Therefore, for athletes and sports fans should not forget about protective equipment such as knee pads.Prevention of osteoarthritis of the knee joint also involves diet. Each extra pound of weight puts extra strain on the joints of the legs. You should eat less sweets and flour and fruits and vegetables - as much as possible. Studies have shown that vegetarians are much less likely to suffer from osteoarthritis. Coffee and strong tea have a bad effect on the joints, they wash away calcium from the bones, but natural dairy products help replenish its reserves.