Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease, affecting both large and small joints. The onset of osteoarthritis is triggered by a wide variety of factors, including developmental disorders, metabolic disorders and trauma to the joint, but in all cases all joint tissues become involved, especially the cartilage. Is there a drug-free solution for knee osteoarthritis?
How is osteoarthritis treated?
The treatment of osteoarthritis. The main aim of treating osteoarthritis is to maintain professional activity and the ability to lead a fulfilling life. This requires preventing the progression of changes in the articular cartilage and subchondral bone, and reducing pain and inflammation in the joint. At present, it is difficult to discuss the possibility of a complete cure of osteoarthritis, as the causes of its development have not been definitively elucidated. So far we can speak of osteoarthritis as a chronic disease. It cannot be cured. Therefore, the main task is to learn how to live with the disease correctly, in order to maintain, and perhaps even improve, physical activity and good emotional health.
All drugs used in the treatment of this disease can be divided into 2 groups:
- With a rapid anti-inflammatory effect – non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and intra-articular glucocorticosteroids;
- Prolonged (basic) therapies – have a profound effect on the pathological process, slowing its progression and strengthening the cartilage tissue. Their therapeutic effect develops over weeks and months.
Physiotherapy plays an important role in relieving the exacerbation of arthritis. It is aimed at reducing pain, muscle spasm, stiffness in the joints, the removal of contractures. According to the effect of physical therapy methods are divided into procedures:
- general action (electrosleep, acupuncture);
- local treatment of the joint area – medicated electrophoresis, laser therapy, ultra-sonophoresis, heat therapy;
- eliminating joint stiffness – drug electrophoresis in the joint area, traction therapy, electromyostimulation;
- treatment of reactive synovitis – drug electrophoresis, UHF therapy, ultraviolet therapy.
Massages have an analgesic, anti-inflammatory effect and help restore joint function. Therapeutic exercise for osteoarthritis has its own characteristics. The exercises should be aimed at strengthening the muscles without increasing the load on the articular surface.