Arthritis and osteoarthritis: symptoms, prevention and treatment

At first glance, osteoarthritis and arthritis are very similar, but these diseases differ greatly. Today we are going to talk about the symptoms of these diseases and prevention methods that will help prevent the disease.

What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?

In arthritis and osteoarthritis, joint damage occurs, but they are different diseases. If with osteoarthritis only the joints are affected, arthritis involves an inflammatory process throughout the body. Inflammation can be caused by infection, an abnormal immune system, or a metabolic disorder. Therefore, with this disease, not only the joints are often affected, but also internal organs: liver, kidneys, heart.

The age group in which diseases are most common also differs: arthritis usually starts before the age of 40, while osteoarthritis mainly affects older people.

arthritis and osteoarthritis of the knee joint

Symptoms of osteoarthritis and arthritis

1. Pain

It is one of the main signs of osteoarthritis and arthritis, but the nature of the pain in these diseases is different. So, with osteoarthritis, the pain is manifested mainly only with movement and a strong additional load, while it may not be very strong (especially at the first stage of the disease). This is why people often do not attach importance to it, triggering the disease. At the second stage, pain manifests itself already with a slight load, and at the third - even at rest. However, it may subside if the person manages to get into a comfortable position.

But with arthritis, the pain at rest does not get better. Particularly characteristic of arthritis is night pain - between three and five in the morning.

2. Bite

The tightening of osteoarthritis is due to the fact that the cartilage layer is destroyed and bone friction occurs. However, if your joints sometimes crack, that's no reason to panic. The crackle in osteoarthritis has a specific sound: it is not a slight click, but a rough, dry click. The higher the level, the stronger the crackle in the joint.

3. Decreased mobility and stiffness

With osteoarthritis, the range of motion in the affected joint decreases. Arthritis is characterized by stiffness throughout the body or in a joint.

4. Deformation

With osteoarthritis, the appearance of the joint changes, but in this case there is no swelling, as in arthritis. Symptoms of arthritis can include inflammation, swelling, tight nodules, and an increase in temperature at the site of the inflammation (it may be warm to the touch).

joint deformity with arthritis and osteoarthritis

In arthritis, joint inflammation can also be accompanied by:

  • an increase in temperature;
  • psoriasis;
  • inflammation of the eyes (as if there is sand in the eyes);
  • chills or excessive sweating;
  • weakness;
  • discharge from the genitals.

Prevention of arthritis and osteoarthritis

Moderate physical activity

Any moderate load helps to reduce weight, increase blood circulation, strengthen the muscle corset, which is very important for the prevention of osteoarthritis and arthritis. However, it is important to be careful here: excessive stress on the joints, injuries or poor performance of certain exercises, on the contrary, can lead to problems. Therefore, at first it is necessary to give lessons with a doctor or instructor. However, for the purpose of prevention, you can perform the so-called joint gymnastics - it is quite simple and does not require special equipment. Swimming in the pool is also good, as the load on the joints is much less in the water.

To note!

We are specifically talking about the prevention of osteoarthritis and arthritis. If you have already been diagnosed with any of the diagnoses, you can only practice after consulting a doctor (and in the acute period training is completely contraindicated! ) And only under the supervision of a physiotherapist whowill develop an individual training program for you.

Adequate nutrition

It is also worth reconsidering your attitude towards nutrition. For the prevention of osteoarthritis and arthritis, it is better to abandon red meat and high-fat foods. It is good that fish and seafood, vegetables and fruits are present in your diet. Cartilage and gelatin (like jellied meat) are also good for bones. Additionally, doctors recommend increasing your water intake to two to three liters per day.

Give up alcohol. You can start taking vitamins (groups A, D, B) and calcium.

good nutrition for the prevention of arthritis and osteoarthritis

In addition, the prevention of osteoarthritis and arthritis can be:

  • protection of the joints against hypothermia;
  • wear comfortable heeled shoes using individual orthopedic insoles;
  • exclusion of crossing the legs in a sitting position;
  • weight control;
  • a healthy lifestyle, a regimen of rest and sleep, elimination of stress.

Treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis

An integrated approach to the treatment of these diseases is important. First of all, the load on the joints is limited. For arthritis, anti-inflammatory (including hormonal) drugs are used - ointments, injections. Physiotherapy, orthopedic regimen, therapeutic regimen, physiotherapy are used.

One of the procedures that may be prescribed for the treatment of osteoarthritis and arthritis is the administration of the patient's own platelet-rich plasma (plasmapheresis). The goal is to make the cartilage in the joint more elastic and resistant to stress, in order to reduce pain.

The sequence of actions is simple: the patient's blood is taken from a vein in special tubes, processed in a centrifuge, and then injected directly into the joint. After the procedure, the patient should limit physical activity during the day. The introduction of platelets into the joint stimulates the restoration of damaged areas of the cartilage. This procedure is virtually painless.