Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease of the joints, accompanied by pathological changes in the hyaline cartilage, then in adjacent tissues, the joint capsule and the synovium.
The lesion is dystrophic and degenerative, which leads to a change in the structure of the joint tissues, a loss of their functionality. According to the same statistics, 12% of the total population of the planet is susceptible to osteoarthritis. Between 62% and 65% of all episodes of the disease occur in people over the age of 60.
Another 30-35% of cases of joint damage with this pathology occur in patients aged 40-60 years. And about 3% are young people between the ages of 20 and 40.
Simply put, osteoarthritis is a chronic disease in which progressive degenerative-dystrophic changes develop in the joint due to metabolic disturbances. It is the most common joint pathology, diagnosed in 6 to 7% of the population. With age, the incidence increases dramatically.
Small joints of the hand (in women 10 times more often than in men), the big toe, the intervertebral joints of the thoracic and cervical spine, as well as the knee and hip joints are the mostoften involved in the pathological process of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the knee and hip joints ranks first in terms of severity of clinical manifestations and negative impact on quality of life.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by a complex lesion of the articular and auxiliary apparatus:
The disease is diagnosed in 2% of people under 45 years old, in 30% - from 45 to 64 years old, and in 65-85% - by the age of 65 and over. Osteoarthritis of the large and medium joints of the extremities has the greatest clinical significance due to its negative impact on the standard of living and working capacity of patients.
Depending on the cause of the pathological process inside the joint, primary, secondary and idiopathic osteoarthritis are distinguished.
Primary develops as an independent, secondary disease as a result of injury or infection, and the cause of the idiopathic form is not known. In addition to the classification of the disease, depending on the cause of the pathological process, osteoarthritis is distinguished depending on the location of destructive changes:
Two reasons contribute to the formation of osteoarthritis: stress and the lack of adequate nutrition, which provides vitamins and minerals for tissue repair. Each person's joints carry a load. For athletes and dancers, during physical work, the load on the legs is greater, which means that the bone joints wear out faster and require high-quality nutrition. With a calm lifestyle, the support device wears out more slowly, but also requires regular tissue renewal.
Therefore, the main condition of the destruction and deformation of the joints is malnutrition, indigestion of useful components, which often occurs with metabolic disorders.
Let's list the factors that contribute to joint wear and tear and metabolic disorders:
The likelihood of osteoarthritis increases with intense physical exertion.
If the daily loads exceed the capacity of bone tissue, microtrauma is formed in them. At the sites of injury, thickenings appear, which develop over time and deform the joint;
Osteoarthritis is a disease of worn joints that have lost a significant amount of minerals and the ability to resist stress and destruction. Therefore, with age, the predisposition to the disease increases. After 70 years, osteoarthritis is diagnosed in one in two retirees. Since the maximum load falls on the legs (a person moves - walks, stands, runs, jumps), this is where the first signs of osteoarthritis are formed.
When one of the reasons provoking disease of the joint with osteoarthritis appears, pathological processes begin to develop. The mechanism of their progression is not fully understood, but the main stages of official medicine are known.
At the initial stage, there is a depletion of the structure of cartilage tissue and abnormal changes in synovial fluid. This is all due to metabolic disorders, in which the tissues of the joints do not receive the necessary components in sufficient quantities, or are deprived of some of them.
In addition, the elasticity of collagen fibers and the flexibility of cartilage are lost, due to the fact that in the body lacking in nutrients, hyaluronic acid does not have time to be produced, which bringssoftness and flexibility to the structural composition of collagen fiber. The cartilage gradually dries out, becomes brittle and cracks. The fluid in the synovial capsule gradually depletes and then disappears completely.
Roughness and solid bone growths form on cartilage tissue. At the same time, the deformation of other tissues of the joint develops, their pathological degeneration, dystrophy and loss of physiological activity. For the patient, these changes result in the appearance of pain, lameness, joint stiffness.
The acute clinical picture is not typical of osteoarthritis, joint changes are gradual, increasing slowly, manifested by a gradual increase in symptoms:
Pain in osteoarthritis is dull, transient, appears moving, against a background of intense stress, towards the end of the day (it can be so intense that it does not allow the patient to fall asleep). The constant, non-mechanical nature of OA pain is uncharacteristic and indicates the presence of active inflammation (subchondral, synovial bone, ligamentous apparatus, or periarticular muscles).
Most patients note the presence of so-called onset pains which occur in the morning after waking up or after a long period of inactivity and disappear during physical activity. Many patients define this condition as the need to “develop a joint” or “disengage”.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by morning stiffness, which has a clear localization and is short-term in nature (no more than 30 minutes), sometimes it is perceived by patients as a "frozen sensation" in the joints. A feeling of wedging, stiffness is possible.
With the development of reactive synovitis, the main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joined by:
In the course of the disease, medicine distinguishes three stages, which differ in the signs of the disease, the intensity of the lesion and the location. At the same time, the differences in the three stages relate to the types of tissues undergoing pathological changes.
In addition to these three degrees of development of pathology, there is a final stage - the irreversible destruction of all tissues in the joint. In this phase, it is impossible not only to conduct effective therapy, but even to relieve pain.
The inflammatory process usually begins at the second degree of the lesion, in rare cases, in the absence of medical intervention - at the first stage. Subsequently, it becomes more and more difficult to stop it, which can lead to secondary pathologies, the development of pathogenic microflora in the place of the localization of the disease.
To exclude serious consequences, treatment should be started at the first degree, and at the same time intensive therapy methods should be applied. At the last stage, associated with the complete destruction of cartilage tissue, only one technique is allowed to relieve the patient from pain and immobility of the joint - arthroplasty with full or partial replacement of the components of the joint.
The consequences of untimely treatment and advanced arthritis of the joints are fraught with complications such as:
The chronic course, in addition to these complications, is accompanied by severe and frequent pain, complete destruction of the structural components of the joint, discomfort, inability to perform physical work and to performsport.
The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is based on the evaluation of anamnestic data, the characteristic manifestations of the disease, the results of instrumental research methods. Indicative changes in general and biochemical blood tests are not typical for osteoarthritis, they only appear with the development of an active inflammatory process.
The main instrumental method for diagnosing osteoarthritis is x-ray; in diagnostic unclear cases, magnetic or computed resonance imaging is recommended.
Osteoarthritis of the knee and hip joints ranks first in terms of severity of clinical manifestations and negative impact on quality of life.
Additional diagnostic methods:
Osteoarthritis of the joints is best treated at an early stage, the treatment itself should be pathogenetic and complex. Its essence lies in the elimination of the causes that contribute to the development of this disease, it is also necessary to eliminate inflammatory changes and restore previously lost functions.
The treatment of osteoarthritis is based on several basic principles:
Drug treatment is carried out in the phase of exacerbation of osteoarthritis, chosen by a specialist. Self-medication is unacceptable due to possible side effects (for example, the negative effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on the gastric mucosa).
Therapy includes the following drugs:
To relieve pain, reduce inflammation, improve microcirculation and eliminate muscle spasms, a patient with osteoarthritis is referred for physiotherapy:
In addition, thermal processes, sulphides, radon and sea baths are used. To strengthen the muscles, electrical stimulation is performed. Gentle massage can also be used during remission.
If the exposure methods listed are ineffective, in the presence of complications, they resort to surgical treatment of osteoarthritis:
In the early stages of the disease, mechanical, laser or cold plasma debridement is used (smoothing the surface of damaged cartilage, removing non-viable areas). This method effectively relieves pain, but has a temporary effect - 2-3 years.
Most people these days don't want to take pills or injections. Therefore, they ask the question - how to cure osteoarthritis with the help of folk remedies? For the most part, these funds are aimed at increasing the tone of the body, improving blood circulation, relieving pain and increasing immunity.
Traditional medicine recipes are used to treat this disease:
Tinctures of bay leaves, horseradish, garlic and rye are also considered to be effective. Treatment of osteoarthritis with folk remedies will be more effective if combined with medication.
The basics of nutrition for osteoarthritis are reduced to the following:
There's absolutely nothing wrong with the fish dishes - you can eat a lot, of course, in reasonable amounts.
Following the treatment regimen prescribed by the doctor, the disease may recede and the damaged tissue may begin to regenerate.
Prevention of osteoarthritis begins with proper nutrition. It is necessary to try to reduce the intake of salt, as well as foods that can disrupt the metabolism. These include legumes, fatty meats, and alcohol. The diet includes cabbage, greens, and fish.
For the prevention of osteoarthritis, it is necessary to take physical education classes, do warm-ups. If possible, it is better to walk a few kilometers. It is also important to watch your weight and avoid weight gain, as this will put additional stress on sore joints. It is not recommended to take pills for the purpose of weight loss as they can disrupt the metabolism in the body.
The outlook for life is favorable. The favorable character of the social and labor prognosis depends on the speed of diagnosis and the start of treatment; it decreases when the decision on the issue of surgical treatment of the disease is delayed, if necessary.