How to properly treat osteoarthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis refers to degenerative pathological processes in the articular and cartilaginous tissues with their subsequent thinning and destruction. Osteoarthritis is characterized by limited mobility and severe pain. The treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee or gonarthrosis is quite versatile, as there are many effective anti-arthritic therapeutic methods: drugs, surgery, diet, massage and more.

How and why the pathology develops

Gonarthrosis develops for the following reasons:

  • Damage to the meniscus, which can lead to a knee stopper. Statistics show that in patients with removed meniscus, osteoarthritis of the knee develops in 90% of cases;
  • Other injuries such as sprains, fractures, cracks, bruises, etc. This factor is more common in young patients;
  • Obesity leads to an increased load on the joint structures, especially the knee, as all the excess weight puts pressure on the lower extremities. And if, along with obesity, the patient still has varicose veins, then there is a high probability of developing the most severe form of gonarthrosis, which is difficult to treat;
  • Increased load on the knees, which is typical for athletes, loaders and others. ;
  • Joint pathological processes such as arthritis, etc. ;
  • Metabolic disorders;
  • Stress, hypothermia.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee

The following symptomatic manifestations are characteristic of arthrosis:

  1. Accumulations of fluid in the joint cavity, leading to the development of Baker's cyst;
  2. The pain, at first weak and intermittent, but with the development of pathological processes becomes intense and constant. In addition, the process of such a transition may take several years, until an exacerbating factor appears;
  3. Squeaky knee, sore. A similar symptom appears at 2 or 3 stages of gonarthrosis;
  4. Disorders of joint mobility are manifested by the inability to bend the limb, the patient experiences severe pain. At the same time, joint deformity develops, which can be seen without special devices.

The degree of development of the pathology

Gonarthrosis is characterized by three stages of development. The first degree is characterized by the presence of mild pain during physical activity. At this stage, synovitis may develop with further cyst formation. The damage to the articular cartilage is not visible from the outside, but they have already intensified and are gradually gaining intensity.

When bending, the symptoms of pain can be supplemented by a specific crunch. This symptom is considered specific to osteoarthritis of the knee.

In second-degree gonarthrosis, the joint space narrows, which is clearly visible on radiography. Bone tissue begins to grow. Every, even slight movement of the knee causes sharp pain. Such symptoms quickly disappear after a short rest, but reappear after the next activity.

A typical sign of third-degree gonarthrosis is a noticeable deformity of the knee. In addition, it is no longer possible to get rid of the pain by stopping the movement, as the pain is present even at rest.

knee pain with osteoarthritis

Approach to the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee

Comprehensive therapeutic tactics can solve the following problems:

  1. Strengthening the muscles that support the joints, increase the elasticity and flexibility of tendon and ligament tissues;
  2. Get rid of the symptoms of pain;
  3. Accelerate the recovery process and improve nutrition in the cartilaginous structures of the knee;
  4. Normalizes blood flow to the affected area;
  5. Increase joint mobility;
  6. Reduce compression in the affected area;
  7. Increase the distance between the bones.

Therapeutic processes are based on prescribing drugs, surgery, special diet, physiotherapy procedures, therapeutic gymnastics and more.

The drugs used

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is based on the use of drugs that provide symptomatic treatment and stop the further progression of gonarthrosis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hormonal drugs and chondroprotectors do an excellent job of such tasks. These drugs are effective in relieving pain, but are contraindicated for a long time to avoid the development of side effects. Therefore, the duration of NSAID therapy should not exceed 2 weeks.

Among the hormonal drugs that are often prescribed for gonarthrosis, it is worth noting:

Hormonal drugs are prescribed in cases where NSAIDs can not cope with the pathological process. But hormone therapy is characterized by an abundance of side effects, so it does not last long.

Chondroprotective drugs are quite effective in restoring joint function. These funds act in a complex way - reduce the symptoms of pain, stabilize pathological processes, provide enhanced nutrition of articular cartilage. There are the latest chondroprotectors, which along with the effect of restoring joint tissues are also gifted with anti-inflammatory effect.

Operation

Sometimes surgical treatment is needed. Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is possible through several surgical methods:

  1. Arthroscopy;
  2. Endoprosthesis;
  3. Osteotomy.

The easiest option for surgery is arthroscopy, during which the affected areas of the joint are removed by small punctures.

The main task of arthroscopic intervention is to prolong the functionality and function of the knee affected by osteoarthritis.

But the most definite surgical method is arthroplasty, which involves replacing the knee-joint fraction with an artificial implant. The efficiency of such an operation is about 90%. As for osteotomy, this operation involves an artificial fracture, after which the bone is fixed in an anatomically correct position.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy procedures also have one of the leading values in complex antiarthritis therapy. They facilitate the course of gonarthrosis, eliminate the symptoms of pain, relieve spasms of muscle tissue and shorten the duration of regeneration. And if electrophoresis with a drug is used, then the patient's dose of this drug when taken orally is reduced.

The tasks of physiotherapeutic procedures for gonarthrosis are to eliminate pain, reduce the severity of symptomatic signs, accelerate the regeneration of joints and improve the nutrition of the damaged joint.

Ultraviolet radiation and magnetic therapy are used to relieve pain. Infrared laser therapy or UHF treatment is prescribed to eliminate inflammatory processes. In addition, ultrasound therapy, darsonvalization and therapeutic baths are indicated.

Diet therapy

The success of therapeutic anti-arthritic measures is largely due to a properly formulated diet. Why? Sometimes the cause of arthritic processes are disorders of material metabolism, in the development of which an important role is played by malnutrition.

An unbalanced diet leads to obesity, which increases the load on the knee joints. Therefore, it is recommended to follow the diet during the treatment of gonarthrosis and after it to prevent joint pathology.

Dietary therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee is based on the use of foods enriched with fortified compounds, essential trace elements. At the same time you need to monitor the calorie content of the meals consumed to avoid extra pounds. If you are overweight, it is recommended to burn more calories than you consume, then your body weight will return to normal.

Exercise therapy

Therapeutic and gymnastic treatment is rightly considered one of the leading elements in the complex treatment of gonarthrosis. Exercise helps to strengthen and restore the activity of the joints. The main thing is that the elements must be executed in a smooth and slow mode. Popular exercises:

  1. Lie on your stomach. Raise your legs consistently;
  2. Lift the limb from the side position with a delay of a few seconds;
  3. Raise your legs from a supine position and perform converging-stretching movements.

Attention! Such exercise is contraindicated for patients with hypertension and other heart patients, as it causes an increase in blood pressure.

It is useful to rub the massage in the direction from the knee to the hip joint. The massage ends with stroking the skin.

Methodology of a doctor - rheumatologist

The method of treatment of gonarthrosis according to the program of a rheumatologist is based on the use of physiotherapy combined with drug therapy:

  • Admission of NSAIDs;
  • Chondroprotective drugs;
  • Topical painkillers such as ointments and creams;
  • Injection infusion into the joint;
  • Manual therapeutic procedures;
  • Physiotherapy;
  • Light physical actions.

As a result of the application of this technique, the previous mobility is restored, the blood supply to the affected knee is normalized, the pain is stopped and the cells of the joint receive increased nutrition.

Author's technique

This author's technique has unique therapeutic properties. This program is able to relieve the patient of osteoarthritis without the use of surgery and drugs. This technique is a mixture of physiotherapy and kinesitherapy treatments. Each patient personally chooses a treatment regimen and training schedule.

It is not recommended that the patient use painkillers, as ice to be applied to the knee and a contrast shower can easily deal with this problem. As a result of regular classes on the method:

  1. The patient is relieved of pain;
  2. Bone joints, joints and cartilage begin to receive increased nutrition;
  3. The knee has been restored to its previous functionality.

Such classes are conducted under the supervision of an experienced instructor in specialized clinics. Massage treatments, swimming and a bath are shown as additional therapies.