How to treat osteoarthritis of the knee to be effective? You need to help your body, reduce stress, normalize metabolism, improve bowel function, make kidneys and liver easier. That is, to reduce excess weight, start eating well, reduce the amount of animal fats, meat and easily digestible carbohydrates. Include in the menu dishes made from vegetables, fermented dairy products, rye, bran bread or wholemeal flour.
Correct diagnosis is the key to treatment. Joint damage is a symptom of many diseases with different treatment regimens. Therefore, a misdiagnosis, and more importantly an independent diagnosis, can be too costly for the patient.
The question of how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee joint is not new to modern medicine. For its treatment, today there are different methods, both therapeutic and surgical. Since surgical methods are always a last resort, consider therapeutic methods.
The effectiveness of treatment depends on the stage of destruction of the joint, its speed. It usually starts with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
They have no direct effect on the cause of the disease and do not stop the destruction of the joint, their effect is only on the reduction of the main symptoms. The signs of inflammation decrease, the swelling goes away, the pain goes away or decreases a lot.
With the help of anti-inflammatory drugs, strong pain sensations are relieved, which makes it possible to gradually switch to other methods of treatment, for example, massage, which would be contraindicated due to the painand inflammation.
But long-term use of these drugs is undesirable, as it masks the manifestations of the disease, creating a picture of complete recovery, but in fact the disease can progress. In addition, the side effects can further improve the processes of cartilage destruction. Therefore, if there is a question about the need for long-term use of drugs from this group, preference should be given to selective anti-inflammatory drugs.
If the diagnosis is established - osteoarthritis of the knee joint, vasodilators are prescribed: strengthening the nutrition of cartilage, the synovial membrane of the joint stops destruction and improves recovery processes. To reduce the allergic component, desensitizing drugs are prescribed.
Chondroprotectors in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee
How to treat osteoarthritis of the knee joint without seeking to restore the structure of the cartilage damaged by the disease?
For this a group of medicines called chondroprotectors is used.
They not only act on individual symptoms, but also affect the cause of the disease, helping to improve the condition of the cartilage surface, improving joint fluid production and its lubricating properties.
They improve the production of synovial fluid, improve its properties and restore the cartilaginous substance. The only thing to remember is that you can only restore what is still there, if the cartilage is completely absent, destroyed, there are marginal bony growths, these drugs will not help.
Thus, the best result from the use of chondroprotectors will be if you start using them early, at the latest at I or II degree of osteoarthritis of the knee joints, and, in long courses, several timesper year.
Unfortunately, these tools are far from instantaneous. Sometimes 2-3 treatments are needed to get the result, and it takes six months to a year and a half. And drugs from this group are completely ineffective at the third stage of the disease, when the cartilage is already completely destroyed. But nevertheless, of all the drugs used for osteoarthritis, it is chondroprotectors that are most useful for the patient, in addition, they almost do not have contraindications and side effects.
Intra-articular drug injections give a good effect, however, it should be borne in mind that the procedure itself can injure the tissues of the capsule and cause infection of the joint cavity. Usually, corticosteroids are injected into the joint. For long-term action, steroid hormones are used (if necessary to relieve severe inflammation).
This procedure is typically performed to provide emergency care to a patient. This provides quick relief from pain and inflammation. But it is undesirable, for a number of reasons, to inject into the same knee more 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 goal and have a positive effect.
Greatly improves the sliding of the joint ends of the bone relative to each other and reduces the load on the hyaluronic acid cartilage injections. Of course, these drugs are very effective if there is no pronounced destruction of the cartilage.
Patients often have the question of how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee with external means? After all, the first thing you want to do with knee pain is rub it and wrap it warmly.
Unfortunately, neither ointments, creams, nor all kinds of rubs can cure osteoarthritis. But they can alleviate the patient's condition, reduce pain and without irritating the gastrointestinal tract, as anti-inflammatory drugs. Warming ointments are used, as well as ointments based on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The skin only absorbs 5-7% of the active substance, so the effect of these ointments is not as effective as we would like.
But compresses for osteoarthritis of the knee joint are more effective. For them, medical bile may be recommended. They relieve inflammation directly in its focus, have resolving and analgesic effects.
Massage and physiotherapy
Physiotherapy for osteoarthritis also has a positive effect. Procedures such as ultrasound, laser, magnetotherapy, phonophoresis are used. Thanks to them, the sensitivity to pain in the joints decreases, inflammatory processes decrease, and swelling is eliminated.
You can use radon, salt baths, apply compresses with bile.
If possible, you can take a course in manual therapy, traction. In this case, the ends of the bones move away from each other and their load decreases. Only the manipulations should be carried out very carefully and by a qualified specialist. Manual therapy and massage of the knee joint also give good results, improving blood circulation in the affected joint, stopping the development of destructive processes and restoring its function as much as possible.Massage
is particularly effective in the early stages of the disease, when it has not yet had its full destructive effect. It is good to do this after a remedial gymnastic exercise. A hot shower or a hammam is a good preparatory step for a massage. After that, the muscles are warmed up and the massage has a deeper healing effect. In the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint, sanatoria also have a beneficial effect. The healing mud improves the course of regeneration processes in the cartilage, improves the supply of useful substances 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
Osteoarthritis prevention stems from the causes of its onset, the main ones being overweight, trauma and poor physical activity. Physical education, performing achievable physical exercises strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints. Thanks to this, the load on the cartilage decreases. Morning walks and swimming are helpful.
At the same time, it is important to observe the alternation of load and rest and good safety during exercise. Injury and overload should be avoided in all possible ways. After all, it is injuries that are one of the main causes of osteoarthritis. The appearance of microcracks determines the presence of initial foci of inflammation. Therefore, for athletes and sports enthusiasts, one should not forget about protective equipment such as knee pads.
Prevention of osteoarthritis of the knee joint also involves adherence to diet. Each additional pound of weight puts additional stress on the joints of the legs. You should eat less sugary and starchy foods, as well as fruits and vegetables - as much as possible. Studies show that vegetarians are much less likely to develop osteoarthritis. Coffee and strong tea have a bad effect on the joints, they remove calcium from the bones, but natural dairy products help to replenish its reserves.