Among the large number of diseases of the musculoskeletal system, osteoarthritis takes the leading place. This disease occurs in all countries of the world, on all continents. With age, the number of patients suffering from osteoarthritis increases.

Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease. In osteoarthritis, the articular cartilage and the adjacent bone are destroyed and as a result, pain appears and the mobility of the joints is impaired. This disease is typical for the elderly. Sometimes it appears in young people and begins to progress rapidly with age.

Normally, the cartilage calmly perceives physical activity. Cartilage wears out with age. The function of cells that synthesize important substances for cartilage is impaired. Because of this, the cartilage becomes thinner, becomes covered with cracks, and the tissue changes. Erosions, ulcers may appear, and osteophytes (thorns) form in the bones.

Risk factors:

  • elderly age;
  • female sex (women get sick twice as often as men);
  • professional activity (work is associated with a load on the same joints);
  • joint injury;
  • heredity;
  • congenital malformations of bones and joints;
  • inactive lifestyle.
  • people with diabetes or other endocrine diseases.

By the middle of life, every person on the roentgenogram can find the phenomenon of osteoarthritis, but the deformation of the cartilage does not mean anything without the complaints of patients. You can live your whole life and not experience the inconvenience of a mild degree of osteoarthritis.

Symptoms characteristic of osteoarthritis:

  • joint pain that occurs during or after exercise;
  • morning stiffness of the joints;
  • limiting the range of motion in the joint;
  • “Crunch” when moving, “jamming in the joint”;
  • pain on palpation in the joint area.

Methods for diagnosing osteoarthritis:

1. X-ray of the joints. This reveals a narrowing of the joint space, bone growths (osteophytes), osteosclerosis (compaction of bone tissue).

2. Ultrasound examination of the joints.

3. Magnetic resonance imaging.

The following joints are most often affected: knee (33.3%), hip (42.7%), hand and foot joints (20%), spinal joints (3%), others (1%).

Until now, the disease has not been completely cured. However, regular early treatment can slow or halt the development and progression of the disease.

(ODA – limitation of physical activity).

Medical treatment.

1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs – diclofenac, nemisulide, etc.). They have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic effects. These drugs are fast acting. But frequent complications in the treatment of NSAIDs are damage to the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and lungs. To prevent complications, NSAIDs must be taken strictly according to indications (after meals), using an effective minimum dose. Do not take medicine if there is no pain or signs of inflammation.

2. Chondroprotectors – a group of drugs that restore the normal ratio of the processes of destruction and formation of cartilage tissue, containing chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride, which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. The drugs are slow to act. The effect of taking them occurs after 2-8 weeks and lasts 2-3 months.

3. Physiotherapy methods.

Non-drug treatment:

  • a decrease in body weight leads to a decrease in pain in the joints, inhibits the destruction of cartilage tissue. To do this, it is necessary to reduce the intake of animal fats, easily digestible carbohydrates.
  • Physical therapy for osteoarthritis helps to eliminate atrophy of the muscles surrounding the joint, eliminate joint instability, reduce joint pain, increase joint mobility, and slow down further progression of the disease.

Useful tips for a patient with osteoarthritis:

  • should not kneel;
  • walk in an even measured step;
  • do not make quick turns and stops;
  • do not overcool the limbs;
  • use a cane when walking, it will relieve the joints by 50%;
  • adherence to a diet to normalize body weight (chemical composition of products, food and drink regimes, etc.)
  • regularly perform therapeutic and gymnastic exercises.

Prevention of the development of osteoarthritis is of great importance, since this disease leads to a deterioration in the quality of life of people, limits their physical capabilities, and is often the cause of disability.


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