Healthy people perceive the ability to move without pain to be quite simple and natural. But those who have encountered osteoarthritis of the knee joint know how many difficulties are associated with limited mobility.
Today, one in five people on Earth suffers from this disease, which often results in disability. In addition, in women, osteoarthritis of the knee joint occurs much more often than in men.
What is osteoarthritis of the knee?
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint (or gonarthrosis) is a disease that develops as a result of excessive or regular stress on the knee joint. The disease is accompanied by pain, impaired motor functions and deformation of bone and cartilage tissue.
Why does osteoarthritis of the knee occur? There are several reasons for this disease:
- trauma (the most common cause of knee osteoarthritis at a young age);
- varicose veins;
- flat feet;
- menopause in women;
- violation of mineral metabolism;
- increased stress on the joints;
- hereditary predisposition.
All of these factors damage cartilage and interfere with the production of intra-articular fluid. As a result, friction leads to disruption of the structure of the bone and cartilage tissue of the joint. At the site of the injury, inflammation occurs, which causes pain and limits its mobility.
Signs of osteoarthritis of the knee
The onset of knee joint disease is indicated by the onset of certain symptoms:
- pain, aggravated by stress on the joint;
- feeling of "stiffness" in the joint;
- crunch (in the absence of timely treatment, it intensifies); Edema
- , swelling.
Degree of illness
There are three degrees of knee osteoarthritis.
- the external deformation of the joint is not visible;
- slight swelling;
- the legs are very tired;
- there is pain in the joint when walking, climbing stairs, as well as after a long stay without movement (for example, after sleeping);
- Formation of Baker's cysts.
- the appearance of pain even with a light load;
- a crack is heard in the joint when walking, crouching;
- the mobility of the knee decreases (the leg cannot be bent).
- severe pain even at rest;
- sleep disturbances;
- sensitivity to weather changes appears;
- an unsteady gait is observed;
- decreased mobility of the knee.
Only a doctor can determine the degree of knee osteoarthritis.
Examination of a patient with knee osteoarthritis
Research allows to determine the causes of the development of pathology and to choose the optimal course of therapy.
The following types of research are often used to clarify the diagnosis:
- Clinical and biochemical blood tests. These types of research allow you to differentiate between similar but different symptoms in the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Radiography. X-rays of the joints are the most common way to diagnose knee osteoarthritis, which can help identify the stage of the disease. But the main disadvantage of this type of diagnosis is that it will not be possible to see anything in the image except the bones.
- Joint ultrasound. Ultrasound can detect fluid and soft tissue abnormalities, as well as visualize cartilage. However, this method is subjective and requires re-examination of the conclusion by examination or x-ray examination.
- Magnetic resonance imaging. MRI is an unrivaled diagnostic method based on the use of magnetic waves. In recent years, this type of study of joint disease has become the most widespread. The images reflect the smallest details of the joint: the vascular system, thinning of soft tissue, swelling and bleeding of the tendons. The first changes in cartilage tissue can be detected with the precision of the tomogram.
- Computed tomography. For this type of examination, X-rays are used, as for an X-ray examination. But the image can be described as more voluminous and detailed, thanks to a number of images.
Treatment of knee osteoarthritis
Treatment of knee osteoarthritis should be carried out in the first or second stage of the disease, this will save the joint. Nevertheless, how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee joint is not an easy question, given that it is a rapidly progressive disease.
Therapy should be aimed at completely eliminating pain, activating blood circulation in the affected area and restoring the affected area.
Medicines for osteoarthritis of the knee
- NSAIDs- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the list of which is quite large today. Their main function is to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. NSAIDs do not contain hormones and therefore have few side effects on the body. However, these drugs also have contraindications, which should be familiarized before taking.
- Chondroprotectors- drugs that nourish and restore the structure of cartilage. The main difference between chondroprotectors and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is an increase in the production of synovial fluid as a result of its intake. To achieve the best result, chondroprotectors can be used regularly and for quite long courses. However, in the last stage of osteoarthritis, they are not very effective.
- Ointments and creams. The use of ointments is recommended by all leading experts in the field of joint diseases, because they are effective in combating most symptoms: relieve pain, reduce inflammation and have an antimicrobial effect. All drugs can be divided into 2 groups:
- anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs;
- vasodilator and warming.
- Compressesare even more effective in the fight against osteoarthritis. The most common of them: medical bile and others.
- Intra-articular injectionsare an expensive but very effective remedy in the fight against knee osteoarthritis.
- The most common treatment option is glucocorticoid. These drugs reduce inflammation and relieve pain. But in some cases, the side effects can make the patient's condition worse. People at risk have the following diseases: ulcers, obesity, kidney failure, hypertension.
- Hyaluronic acid preparations are safer and, when injected, act as an intra-articular fluid: they nourish the cartilage and lubricate the joint surfaces.
- Manual therapy and physiotherapy. Physiotherapy and manual therapy can give excellent results in the early stages of the disease (use in combination with other methods of treatment is recommended). In addition to exercise therapy, thermotherapy, electrophoresis and laser therapy, cryotherapy (cold therapy) and homeosiniatry (the introduction of homeopathic remedies into biologically active points of the body) haverecently been used.
- Surgery. At the last stage of knee osteoarthritis, only surgical treatment is indicated, during which the deformed joint is replaced with a new one made of high-strength materials.
- Use baking soda to remove puffiness. It is necessary to dissolve a few tablespoons of baking soda in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Apply the resulting mixture to the fabric and tie it to the knee (you can wrap it around the knee joint) and secure it with a bandage on top. Leave the compress overnight. Repeat the procedure every day for a week until the puffiness is completely removed.
- An equally popular compress is a combination of water and vinegar. The dressing with the medicinal composition is also left overnight.
- Treatment with folk remedies is not limited to vinegar or soda compresses. Very often, honey, horseradish, cabbage, kefir, potatoes rolled in a meat grinder and even oatmeal are applied to the affected area.
- Dandelions are also used as an effective remedy for joint diseases. Most often, the flower infusion is used to rub problem areas for pain relief. The best known recipe: pour the picked dandelion flowers and pour them with triple cologne. Let it steep for 10 days and wipe the joints several times a day.
- A popular recipe for Golden Mustache Pomade. To prepare it, mix the juice of a freshly squeezed plant with baby cream, fat and petroleum jelly.
- Onion decoction is another popular method for relieving pain symptoms. Chop two onions with the shell and boil until the onion softens. And then they use the broth obtained before eating.
- Baths with essential oils of St. John's Wort, Calendula, Eucalyptus have an anti-inflammatory effect on damaged cartilaginous surfaces.
- Mumiyo can be used to relieve pain with folk remedies. It is recommended to rub in a mixture of honey and mumiyo (in a ratio of 100: 3) every night before going to bed. After 5-6 days, osteoarthritis of the knee joint will go away.
- Do not carry heavy objects.
- Avoid stressful situations.
- Wear only comfortable shoes.
- Move more, but watch your movements smoothly.
- Stick to your diet. Eat meat, fish, seafood, beans no more than once every two days.
Osteoarthritis of the knee: treatment with traditional medicine
Sometimes to cure knee osteoarthritis, treatment with folk remedies does not replace traditional methods of treatment. These include: compresses, homemade ointments, decoctions and baths.
Home joint treatment is indicated in the intervals between treatments. Medication breaks should be taken to avoid side effects. At this point, treatment of the knee joint can be continued with folk remedies.
And the list of recipes for treatment with folk remedies is not limited to this. There are a number of unpopular, but no less effective, methods. So, for example, you can treat osteoarthritis with leeches, earthworms: these methods give good results, although not very common.
Often folk remedies are only effective in combination with drug therapy.
Among other things, it is necessary to limit the load on the knee joint - this will speed up its recovery.
The human knee joint is one of the most affected, as it supports the weight of the human body and allows movement.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a deformation and destruction of the cartilaginous layer. As a result, the joint loses its ability to soften during movement the constant blows of the joint itself and the body during movement.
Remember that only a timely diagnosis and treatment will prevent the unpleasant consequences of osteoarthritis. Take care of your health: seek help from a qualified specialist at the first sign of illness.