Healthy people consider the ability to move without pain to be very simple and natural. However, those who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee joint know how difficult it is to limit mobility.
Today, one in five people on Earth suffers from this disease, which often causes disability. In addition, osteoarthritis of the knee joint is more common in women than in men.
What is osteoarthritis of the knee?
Knee arthrosis (or gonarthrosis) is a disease that develops in the knee joint as a result of excessive or regular stress. The disease is accompanied by pain, impaired motor function and deformity of bone and cartilage tissue.
Why does knee osteoarthritis occur? There are several causes of this disease:
- trauma (the most common cause of gonarthrosis at a young age);
- varicose veins;
- straight legs;
- menopause in women;
- disorders of mineral metabolism;
- increased stress on the joints;
- hereditary tendency.
All of these factors damage cartilage and prevent the production of intra-articular fluid. As a result, friction disrupts the structure of bone and cartilage tissue in the joint. Inflammation occurs at the site of injury, causing pain and restricting mobility.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee
The onset of knee joint disease is indicated by the appearance of some symptoms:
- pain aggravated by stress in the joint;
- feeling of "pain" in the joint;
- crisis (intensifies in the absence of timely treatment);
- edema, swelling.
Three degrees of gonarthrosis can be distinguished.
- no external deformation of the joint is visible;
- slight swelling;
- legs are very tired;
- joint pain when walking, climbing stairs, as well as after prolonged inactivity (for example, after lying down);
- Baker cyst formation.
- occurrence of pain even with a small load;
- A crunch is heard in the joint while walking and squatting;
- knee mobility decreases (legs cannot bend).
- such severe pain at rest;
- sleep disorder;
- is sensitive to weather changes;
- unstable gait is observed;
- Decreased knee mobility.
The degree of gonarthrosis can only be determined by a doctor.
Examination of a patient with gonarthrosis
Studies allow to determine the causes of pathology and 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 studies allow similar symptoms to be differentiated, but are different in the treatment of arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Radiography. X-rays of the joints are the most common way to diagnose gonarthrosis, which allows to determine the stage of the disease. However, the main drawback of this type of diagnosis is that it will not be possible to see anything other than the bones in the picture.
- Joint ultrasound. Ultrasound can detect fluid and soft tissue abnormalities, as well as visualize cartilage. However, this method is subjective and requires double checking of the result by examination or X-ray examination.
- Magnetic resonance imaging. MRI is an unparalleled diagnostic method based on the use of magnetic waves. In recent years, this study of joint diseases has become the most widespread. Images show the smallest details of the joint: varicose veins, soft tissue thinning, swelling and bleeding in the tendons. The first changes in cartilage tissue can be detected by tomography accuracy.
- Computed tomography. X-rays are used for this examination, as in the X-ray examination. However, thanks to a number of images, the image can be called more voluminous and detailed.
Treatment of gonarthrosis
Gonarthrosis should be treated in the first or second stages of the disease, which will save the joint. However, how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee joint is not an easy question as it is a rapidly developing disease.
Therapy should be aimed at complete elimination of pain, activation of blood circulation in the affected area and rehabilitation of the affected area.
Medicine for osteoarthritis of the knee
- NSAIDs- The list of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is very wide today. Their main function is to reduce inflammation and reduce pain. NSAIDs do not contain hormones and therefore have little effect on the body. However, there are contraindications to these drugs that should be consulted before taking.
- Chondroprotectors- drugs that nourish and restore cartilage structure. The main difference between chondroprotectors and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is the increase in production as a result of ingestion of synovial fluid. For best results, chondroprotectors can be used regularly and in fairly long courses. However, they are not very effective in the final stages of osteoarthritis.
- Ointments and creams. The use of ointments is recommended by all leading experts in the field of joint diseases, as they are effective in combating most symptoms: relieve pain, reduce inflammation and have antimicrobial effects. All drugs can be divided into 2 groups:
- anti-inflammatory and analgesic;
- vasodilator and warming.
- CompressesIt is a more effective tool in the fight against osteoarthritis. The most common of them: medical bile and others.
- Intra-articular injectionsIt is an expensive but very effective tool in the fight against gonarthrosis.
- The most common treatment option is glucocorticoid therapy. These drugs reduce inflammation and reduce pain. However, in some cases, side effects can worsen the patient's condition. At risk are people with the following diseases: ulcers, obesity, kidney failure, hypertension. Hyaluronic acid-based preparations are safer and, when injected, act as an intra-articular fluid: nourishing cartilage and lubricating joint surfaces.
- Manual therapy and physiotherapy. Physiotherapy and manual therapy can give excellent results in the early stages of the disease (it is recommended to use in combination with other treatments). In addition to exercise therapy, thermotherapy, electrophoresis and laser therapy, cryotherapy (cold therapy) and homeosiniatry (application of homeopathic treatment to biologically active points of the body) have recently been used.
- Surgery. In the final stage of gonarthrosis, only surgical treatment is indicated, in which case the deformed joint is replaced with a new one of high-strength materials.
- Use baking soda to relieve swelling. Dissolve a few tablespoons of baking soda in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Apply the resulting mixture to the fabric and glue it to the knee (you can bend it around the knee joint) and fix it with a bandage on top. Leave the compress on overnight. Repeat the procedure every day for a week until the swelling is completely gone.
- An equally popular compress is a combination of water and vinegar. Medicinal dressings are also released overnight.
- Folk remedies are not limited to vinegar or soda compresses. Often honey, horseradish, cabbage, kefir, potatoes are rolled in a meat grinder and even applied to the affected area of oatmeal.
- Dandelions are also used as an effective remedy for joint diseases. Often the infusion of flowers is used to rub problem areas to relieve pain. The most popular recipe: pour the torn chain flowers and pour with triple cologne. Infuse for 10 days and wipe the joints several times a day.
- A popular recipe for golden mustache ointment. To prepare, mix the juice of a freshly squeezed plant with baby cream, oil and petroleum jelly.
- Onion decoction is another popular way to relieve pain symptoms. Chop two onions together with the peel and boil until the onion is soft. And then they use the resulting juice before meals.
- Baths with essential oils of calendula, calendula, eucalyptus have anti-inflammatory effect on damaged cartilage surfaces.
- Mummy can be used to relieve pain with folk remedies. It is recommended to rub a mixture of honey and mummy (100: 3 ratio) every night before going to bed. After 5-6 days, osteoarthritis of the knee joint will recede.
- Do not carry heavy loads.
- Avoid stressful situations.
- Wear only comfortable shoes.
- Move more, but watch your movements smoothly.
- Stick to your diet. Eat meat, fish, seafood, beans more than once every two days.
Osteoarthritis of the knee: treatment with traditional medicine
Sometimes folk remedies to treat gonarthrosis do not replace traditional treatments. These include: compresses, homemade ointments, decoctions and baths.
Treatment of joints at home is indicated at intervals between courses of drug treatment. Medication breaks should be taken to avoid side effects. In this case, the treatment of the knee joint can be continued with folk remedies.
And the list of folk remedies is not limited to this. There are methods that are not very popular, but less effective. So, for example, you can treat osteoarthritis with leech, earthworm: these methods give good results, although not very common.
Often, folk remedies are effective only in combination with medication.
Among other things, you need to limit the load on the knee joint - it will speed up recovery.
The human knee joint is one of the most affected because it supports the weight of the human body and provides movement.
Knee arthrosis is the deformation and destruction of the cartilage layer. As a result, the joint loses its ability to soften during movement, the continuous blows of the joint itself and the body during movement.
Remember that only timely diagnosis and treatment will help prevent the unpleasant consequences of osteoarthritis. Take care of your health: seek help from a qualified specialist at the first signs of illness.