Arthrosis is a disease accompanied by dystrophic changes in the articular cartilage without an inflammatory process. In general, the disease is most often diagnosed in elderly people (after 45 years). However, there are exceptions when the disease occurs at a younger age, mainly after injuries. It is impossible to get rid of it completely. In order to alleviate the exacerbation and improve the general condition, the treatment of arthrosis should be comprehensive.
How do we treat arthrosis?
The following are used in complex therapy:
- medicines (pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, chondroprotectors);
- physiotherapy (heating, laser, UVT therapy, electrophoresis, ultrasound);
- special exercises;
- surgical intervention (in the later stages, in the absence of effectiveness of drugs);
- folk remedies;
- massage therapy;
- non-traditional methods (hirudotherapy, acupuncture, acupuncture).
Each stage of the treatment must be developed individually by the doctor for each patient.
How do we treat arthrosis with medication?
To this day, many drugs are used to treat this disease. However, they only help to eliminate the main symptoms and alleviate the patient's condition. Restoration of articular cartilage is impossible, as dystrophic changes are irreversible.
Medical therapy consists of the following drugs:
- NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation;
- chondroprotectors with chondroitin and glucose;
- corticosteroids intended for intra-articular administration are used in severe cases of the disease, they can relieve inflammation and restore the mobility of the damaged joint;
- hyaluronic acid for intra-articular injection - used as a joint lubricant, it can prevent friction, reduce pain, and help the formation of hyaluronate.
If the joint has undergone severe deformities, drug treatment will be powerless. It can only be replaced by surgery.
Warming up helps to get rid of pain and normalize blood circulation. However, this method is used only in the initial stages of the development of the disease, when there are no serious injuries. Sometimes doctors recommend their patients to visit the spa because it has a beneficial effect on the well-being. But it must be remembered that the joint should be moderately warmed up. Overheating, like hypothermia, adversely affects the development of the disease. During exacerbations, heating the damaged area is also prohibited.
One method of physiotherapy is the use of a laser to stop the progression of degenerative processes. During the procedure, a light current hits the painful area. As a result, blood circulation can be improved, inflammation, swelling and pain can be eliminated. Before the laser procedure, the patient must be examined. It is prohibited in case of aggravation.
The effectiveness of electrophoresis has been proven in arthrosis. The affected area is affected by special preparations for which an electric field is created. Thanks to this, the drug breaks down into ions, then gets into the upper layers of the skin, enters the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body.
UVT therapy helps to cure arthrosis. This procedure helps to eliminate inflammation, softens calcium deposits and removes them from the body, reduces swelling. However, this physiotherapy method has many contraindications, including thrombosis, diabetes, tumors and purulent processes.
Contact with ultrasound allows to anesthetize the affected area and reduce inflammation. Usually, ultrasound treatment is used during the rehabilitation period after surgery.
If the drugs are ineffective, which usually happens in the advanced stages of the disease, the doctor may decide on surgery. There are several types of such operations:
- arthroplasty - the damaged cartilage is replaced with an artificial insert, which helps reduce pain and improve mobility;
- prostheses - the joint is completely removed and replaced with a prosthesis made of a special material that helps prevent rejection by the body;
- arthroscopy - helps to prevent the destruction of the joint, areas with inflammatory processes are removed during the operation.
If the patient consults a doctor in the early stages of the disease, surgery can be avoided.
In complex therapy, in addition to medicines, folk remedies are also used, which help relieve the patient from unpleasant symptoms.
The following recipes have become popular:
- mix equal amounts of marigold blossoms, birch leaves and nettle leaves, then pour 2 tablespoons of the collection of herbs with 1 liter of boiling water and insist overnight, take half a glass 5 times a day;
- mix fresh egg yolk with turpentine and apple cider vinegar in equal proportions, rub the sore spot with the resulting mixture and wrap it in a woolen scarf, leave overnight;
- 2 teaspoons of celery juice three times a day;
- squeeze the juice from a head of cabbage, soak a woolen cloth in it and apply it as a poultice;
- boil the oatmeal until you get a thick shell, cool it down and use it as a poultice at night;
- pharmacy root elecampane (25 g) insist in 150 ml of vodka for 12 days, rub at night.
Traditional medicine does not replace medicines, but it will be a great addition to them.
Basic rules for the use of traditional medicine
When using folk remedies, you must follow the following general rules:
- before using one of the recipes, be sure to consult a doctor, who can indicate possible complications after a detailed examination;
- it is important not only to consult a specialist, but also to perform an allergic reaction test yourself - for this, a small amount of the product must be applied to the inside of the wrist for 2 hours;
- it is not recommended to exceed the dose, as in this case the risk of side effects increases;
- it is recommended to use fresh infusions and ointments, since not all recipes are suitable for future use;
- if adverse effects occur, the treatment should be stopped and another drug should be chosen.
Follow these simple rules to avoid complications.
In order to prevent weakening of the ligaments and muscle atrophy, therapeutic exercises are performed. Gymnastics is selected individually, depending on the condition of the patient and the course of the disease. This is done by a physiotherapist.
Exercises are prohibited during exacerbations, as well as 6 days earlier after the removal of intense pain. The main task of therapeutic exercises is to restore mobility and flexibility.
Non-traditional methods of treating the disease include hirudotherapy, acupuncture and acupuncture.
Leeches are used in hirudotherapy. Despite the fact that this method is not medical, it is quite effective. Leeches are placed at special points corresponding to certain active zones. This helps to increase tissue microcirculation, eliminate muscle spasms and reduce swelling. The medicinal saliva of leeches has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Acupuncture is based on the activation of certain points with needles. Sometimes lit wormwood is used instead. The effect is similar to the result of hirudotherapy. Metabolic processes improve significantly, blood circulation improves, and the pain syndrome is alleviated.
All of the above procedures can only be performed by a specialist. Otherwise, instead of improvement, a sharp deterioration of the condition may occur.
The most desirable result of therapeutic massage is the restoration of the working capacity of the affected joint. However, this is possible if the arthrosis of the joints is in the initial stage of development. The massage can only be performed by a specialist. Sometimes the patient can do it on their own, but this requires learning these techniques. Before the procedure, the damaged area is warmed up with a regular warm shower or gymnastic exercises.
One type is hydromassage, which is done by being immersed in a warm bath. The entire course consists of a maximum of 20 procedures. It is recommended to repeat it at least twice a year. A pleasant warmth and relaxation follows after the correct execution of the massage. To achieve the desired result, the duration of the procedure must be gradually increased.
Only an integrated approach allows you to get rid of the symptoms of arthrosis and avoid exacerbations.