How to treat osteoarthritis of the knee so that it is effective? You need to help your body, reduce stress, normalize metabolism, improve bowel function, facilitate kidney and liver function. That is, to reduce excess weight, start eating properly, reduce the amount of animal fats, meat, easily digestible carbohydrates. Include vegetable dishes, sour milk products, rye, bran bread or wholemeal flour in the menu.
Proper diagnosis is the key to treatment. Joint lesions are a symptom of many diseases with different treatment regimens. Therefore, diagnostic error, and even more independent diagnosis, can be too costly for the patient.
The question of how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee is not new to modern medicine. There are now various methods for its treatment, both therapeutic and surgical. Since resorting to surgical methods is always the ultimate refuge, consider therapeutic methods.
The effectiveness of treatment depends on the stage of destruction of the joint and its timeliness. 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 solely to reduce the main symptoms. The signs of inflammation are reduced, the swelling subsides, the pain disappears or becomes much less.
With the help of anti-inflammatory drugs, strong feelings of pain are alleviated, which allows a gradual transition to other methods of treatment, for example massage, which would be contraindicated due to pain and inflammation.
But long-term use of these drugs is undesirable, because it masks the manifestations of the disease, creating an image of complete cure, but in fact the disease can progress. In addition, side effects can further improve cartilage destruction processes. Therefore, if there is a question about the need for long-term use of drugs of this group, preference should be given to selective anti-inflammatory drugs.
If the diagnosis is arthrosis of the knee joint, vasodilators are prescribed: by strengthening the nourishing cartilage, the synovial membrane of the joint stops the destruction and intensifies the 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, if you are not trying to restore the cartilage structure damaged by the disease?
A group of drugs called chondroprotectors is used for this.
They do not only act on individual symptoms, but also affect the cause of the disease, helping to improve the condition of the cartilage surface, improving the production of joint fluid and its lubricating properties.
They improve the production of synovial fluid, improve its properties and restore cartilage. The only thing you need to remember is that you can only restore what is still there, but if the cartilage is completely absent, destroyed, there are marginal growths on the bones, these medications will not help.
So, the best result of using chondroprotectors will be if you start using them early, no later than I or II degree of arthrosis of the knee joints, moreover, with long courses, several times a year.
Unfortunately, these tools are not far from the moment. Sometimes 2-3 courses of treatment are needed to achieve results, and this lasts from six months to one and a half years. And drugs of this group are completely ineffective in the third stage of the disease, when the cartilage is already completely destroyed. But regardless of that, of all the drugs used for osteoarthritis, chondroprotectors are the most useful for the patient, and they have almost no contraindications and side effects.
Intra-articular injections of drugs give a good effect, however, it should be borne in mind that the procedure itself can injure the capsule tissue and cause infection of the joint cavity. Corticosteroid drugs are usually injected into the joint. Steroid hormones are used for long-term action (if necessary to alleviate severe inflammation).
This procedure is usually performed to provide emergency care to the patient. This achieves rapid relief of pain and inflammation. But it is undesirable to inject into the same knee more often than once in 2 weeks for several reasons.
If the joint is calmer, there are no obvious signs of inflammation, chondroprotectors can be injected directly into the joint, reach the target quickly and have a positive effect.
Significantly improves the sliding of the articular ends of the bones to each other and reduces the load on the cartilage by injections of hyaluronic acid. Of course, these drugs are highly effective if there is no pronounced destruction of cartilage.
Patients often ask the question how to treat osteoarthritis of the knee with external means? Finally, the first thing you want to do with knee pain is rubbing and warm wrapping.
Unfortunately, neither ointments, nor creams, nor all kinds of rubbing can cure osteoarthritis. But they can alleviate the patient's condition, reducing pain and not acting irritatingly on the gastrointestinal tract, like anti-inflammatory drugs. Warming ointments are used, as well as ointments based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The skin absorbs only 5-7% of the active substance, so the effect of these fats is not as effective as we would like.
But compresses for osteoarthritis of the knee joint are more effective. Medical bile may be recommended for them. They alleviate inflammation directly in its focus, have a relieving and analgesic effect.
Massage and physiotherapy
Physiotherapy for osteoarthritis also has a positive effect. Such procedures as ultrasound, laser, magnetotherapy, phonophoresis are used. Thanks to them, the sensitivity of the joints to pain is reduced, inflammatory processes in them are reduced and swelling is removed.
You can use radon, salt baths, apply dressings with bile.
If possible, you can take a manual therapy course, pulling. In this case, the ends of the bones move away from each other and the load on them decreases. Only manipulations should be performed very carefully and by a qualified professional. Manual therapy and massage of the knee joint also give good results, improving blood circulation in the diseased joint, stopping the development of destructive processes in it and restoring its function to the greatest possible extent.
Massage is especially effective in the initial stages of the disease, when it has not yet had its full destructive effect. It is good to do this after practicing remedial gymnastics. A hot shower or steam room is a good preparatory step for a massage. After that, the muscles warm up and the massage has a deeper healing effect. Sanatoriums also have a beneficial effect in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Healing mud improves the course of regenerative processes in cartilage, improves the supply of nutrients to the joints and their blood supply.
If the joint is completely destroyed, only surgical treatment - artificial replacement - can help.
Preventive measures: reduce the destruction process
Prevention of osteoarthritis arises from the causes of its occurrence, the main of which are overweight, trauma and poor physical activity. Physical education, performing feasible physical exercises strengthens the muscles that surround the joints. Thanks to that, the load on the cartilage becomes less. Morning walks and swimming are useful.
At the same time, it is important to pay attention to the change of load and rest and proper safety during exercise. Injuries and overloads should be avoided in all possible ways. After all, injuries 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 fans should not forget about such protective equipment as knee pads.
Prevention of osteoarthritis of the knee joint also involves adhering to a diet. Each extra pound puts extra strain on the ankles. You need to eat less sweets and flour, and 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, flushing calcium from the bones, but natural dairy products help replenish its reserves.