Treatment of arthrosis: characteristics of the methods used and their effectiveness

The treatment of osteoarthritis ("arthrosis deformans", osteoarthritis) cannot be postponed "until later". The pathology always changes the joint structure, affects the bone, cartilage, it can completely destroy the joint and the person becomes incapacitated. Therefore, it is dangerous to self-medicate, refuse examinations and official methods of therapy.

osteoarthritis symptoms

Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative-dystrophic joint disease in which the joint gradually begins to deform, its functionality worsens, osteophytes grow along the edge of the bone, and cartilage is destroyed.

The doctor gives the patient recommendations for the treatment of osteoarthritis

The main symptoms of the pathology are the presence of a crisis during walking, pain syndrome of varying severity. In addition, with osteoarthritis, stiffness of movements appears, the pain becomes permanent, constantly intensifies, atrophy of nearby muscles begins, and the space between the bones of the joint narrows. If there is no treatment at this stage, ankylosis (fusion of the joint surface) develops, disability occurs.

Conservative therapy for osteoarthritis

If you have symptoms of the condition, you need to be examined and start treating your osteoarthritis immediately. Lack of adequate therapy can lead to complete loss of joint functionality and result in disability.

In official medicine, the treatment of osteoarthritis is carried out initially by a conservative method. The patient receives prescription drugs, exercise therapy, physical therapy, orthopedic products, diet. With the doctor's permission for arthrosis, you can additionally apply the methods of traditional and traditional medicine, homeopathy. A sick person needs to monitor his weight, avoid irregular loads on the joints, follow medical recommendations. If these complex methods do not bring a positive result, an operation is performed.

After conservative and/or surgical treatment for the prevention of osteoarthritis, it is useful to have an annual spa therapy. It is recommended to choose an institution specializing in pathologies of the musculoskeletal system and also to have hot springs, therapeutic mud.

Medical treatment

A disease such as osteoarthritis can be primary or secondary (it develops against the background of other pathologies). Therefore, the list of drugs used is selected for each patient individually.

Preparations for the treatment of osteoarthritis

The main drugs in the treatment of osteoarthritis:

  • chondroprotectors;
  • medical preparations of microcirculatory action;
  • multivitamins, vitamins C, group B;
  • mineral complexes;
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • corticosteroids (intra-articular injections);
  • analgesics;
  • desensitizing (anti-allergic) drugs;
  • medicines for external use (ointment, cream, solutions, balm, gel, tinctures and medicinal bile).

Chondroprotectors are prescribed at all stages, forms of the disease, as they affect the mechanism of restoration of articular cartilage. HP is prescribed for oral administration, but also with arthrosis, injections are made into the joint cavity and / or into the muscle. For intra-articular injections, both chondroprotectors and corticosteroids are used.

Secondary osteoarthritis deformans is treated with the same group of drugs, but additional drugs are prescribed for the treatment of the pathology that has caused degenerative-dystrophic changes in the joints.


Each physiotherapy has its own list of contraindications. Therefore, when choosing them, it may be necessary to consult a cardiologist, neurologist, endocrinologist or other specialist.

basic physiotherapy

Drug treatment of osteoarthritis is supplemented with electrophoresis (with anesthetic, zinc, lithium, sulfur), electrosleep therapy, ultraphonophoresis. Paraffin applications are applied to the diseased joint, black wax and therapeutic mud are used. A joint damaged by arthrosis is also treated with laser, magnetic field, diadynamic currents and other impulses.

Therapeutic exercise for osteoarthritis

For 3-5 days after the removal of acute symptoms, gymnastics is prescribed. A set of exercise therapy exercises is selected individually for each patient for the identified stage, arthrosis form. The first workout should start with minimal loads on the painful joint and at a slow pace. Then, every 7-10 days, the exercises are complicated by the recommendation of an expert.

Exercise therapy for osteoarthritis under the supervision of a specialist

Types of gymnastic tasks for the joints of the hands:

  • circular movements in the hands, elbows, shoulders;
  • rocking back and forth, up and down;
  • shrug;
  • blade connection-disconnection;
  • turns from the palms to the leg and away from it;
  • flexion-extension at the elbows;
  • clenching fists with subsequent maximum straightening of the brush.

In case of damage to the pathology of the spine (osteochondrosis), arthrosis of the joints of the upper extremities - gymnastics is done in the "sitting", "standing" position.

Types of gymnastic tasks for the leg joints:

  • flexion-extension, circular movements in the hip, knee, ankle;
  • swing forward-backward, right-left;
  • lifting the knees;
  • "bicycle";
  • "butterfly";
  • roll with one foot of small objects;
  • grasp the ball with the toes;
  • lifting the toe "over itself".

With the development of coxarthrosis, gonarthrosis, arthrosis of the ankle, exercise therapy is carried out lying down, standing, and with damage to the small joints of the legs - sitting.

Exercise should not cause pain in the injured joint. If it appears, you need to reduce the load, the pace of execution. After each exercise, you also need to rest up to 3 minutes.

Manual therapy for osteoarthritis

It is advisable to use the return of mobility to the joints with the help of a chiropractor's hands in cases of grade I-II arthrosis.Massage session for osteoarthritis of the jointsA chiropractor performs 2 types of correction of a deformed joint: manipulation (sharp pressure movement) and mobilization (stretching the damaged joint). The more complex the clinical case, the more sessions need to be done.

Manual treatment of joints with osteoarthritis is complemented with massage. It is performed every other day for all stages of the disease every 2-3 months with a course of up to 25 procedures, but only during remission and in the subacute period.

Manipulation is carried out by sliding movements with light pressure (sawing, kneading, rubbing, etc. ). They massage not only the diseased joint, but also the nearby spine, the neighboring joints.

Home physiotherapy for osteoarthritis

Now people diagnosed with osteoarthritis have the opportunity to perform physical therapy at home. Compact home appliances for medical purposes are sold on the Internet and in medical supply stores.

The following devices are very popular for treating osteoarthritis:

  • magnetotherapy;
  • magnetic laser therapy;
  • low frequency pulsed magnetotherapy;
  • laser therapy;
  • reflex physiotherapy.

Before ordering a device for osteoarthritis, the doctor should definitely clarify whether there are any contraindications to the effects of pulses, laser, current or magnetic field on your body.

non-drug methods

Treatment of osteoarthritis requires the use of an orthopedic regimen. The purpose of the method is to unload the diseased joint, stabilize it in the correct anatomical and physiological position. With arthrosis, canes, crutches, as well as corsets, special insoles with arch supports and pads, and shoes, splints, orthoses, fasteners, braces are used. It is recommended that they be ordered from a local orthopedic salon according to individual molds.

Knee brace for fixing a joint affected by arthrosis

In online stores you can buy cheaper products whose design allows you to independently adjust the tension force. These are usually elastic bandages, bandages, tweezers, fixation belts, knee pads, elbow pads, and similar orthopedic devices. However, before ordering a specific product for arthrosis, it is necessary to clarify with the attending physician all the necessary characteristics: the degree of tension, the presence and type of stiffeners, whether it is necessary to adjust the limb extension angle in the diseased joint. , additional conditions.

Climatotherapy also belongs to non-drug methods. During its use, a person creates special climatic conditions by prescribing thalassotherapy procedures, or it is recommended to visit a resort, undergo preventive treatment in a sanatorium in health resorts.

diet therapy

With secondary osteoarthritis, doctors recommend one of the treatment tables to the patient. For example, to correct body weight, excess weight is removed with diet #8. In most cases, patients eat according to table #15 and ATS (general version of diets).

With osteoarthritis, gelatin-based products (jelly, jam, and so on), avocado (1 piece per week), vegetable oils, fresh fruit juices, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flax seeds help well. It is recommended to exclude fatty, smoked and salty foods from the diet.

Homeopathic Medicines and Herbal Remedies for Osteoarthritis

Doctors complement conservative methods with homeopathy and herbal medicine. Preparations based on natural ingredients improve the functioning of all body systems.

List of commonly used homeopathic remedies for osteoarthritis:

  • Hydrofluoric acid;
  • calcium fluoride;
  • Phosphor;
  • Calcium phosphate;
  • Potassium carbonate.

Its reception is combined with other methods of official and traditional medicine.

Phytopreparation based on chamomile flowers for the treatment of arthrosis

List of commonly used herbal remedies for osteoarthritis:

  • cinquefoil;
  • hulled oats;
  • yukurba (devil's claw extraction);
  • medicinal collection (marshmallow and licorice roots, chamomile flowers, marigold).

Homeopathic and herbal remedies reduce the need for large doses of NSAIDs, analgesics, corticosteroids, antihistamines.

joint operations

Surgical treatment of a disease such as arthrosis is used in case of inadequate use of conservative methods. Usually, the operation is performed when the patient seeks medical help late, when the pathology has already reached stage 3-4 of development and threatens with disability.

Types of operations for osteoarthritis:

  • arthrodesis;
  • arthroscopic debridement;
  • arthroplasty;
  • periarticular osteotomy;
  • endoprostheses.

After surgery, the patient is transferred to conservative treatment, and rehabilitation measures are started.

The use of laser in surgery and physiotherapy for osteoarthritis

Laser therapy is prescribed for all grades and types of deforming osteoarthritis. The rays of the devices used affect the damaged tissues at the cellular, molecular and physiological (organ) level.

Laser therapy procedure for osteoarthritis of the joints

In physiotherapy for osteoarthritis, this laser property helps to restore microcirculation, relieve inflammation, pain and swelling, improve metabolism, self-regulation of regeneration processes. There are many types of devices and modes of operation. The rays of the device affect the surface and the intra-articular layer of tissues, biologically active points (with laser acupuncture).

Laser treatment is also performed in surgery, only high-intensity equipment is used. The use of rays during the operation, in addition to their listed properties, contributes to the rapid restoration of tissues and minimizes the risk of wound infection.

During the diagnosis of osteoarthritis, it is possible to prescribe laser spectroscopy and examine small joints with an infrared laser scanner. These methods are safer, cheaper compared to MRI, radiography.

Folk and traditional medicine for osteoarthritis

Raw materials of natural origin must be selected individually, as each substance has its own contraindications. Medicinal preparations for arthrosis include plants with metabolism-enhancing, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and analgesic effects. More often they use willow bark, linden, St. John's wort, burdock, cinquefoil.

At home, it is convenient to treat osteoarthritis with clay. A good therapeutic effect has a healing agent blue, kaolin (white), green, yellow and black. Clay for arthrosis is added to baths (1 tablespoon / 1 liter of water), the damaged joint is wrapped, an application is made to it, the sore spot is rubbed with a mixture of clay and vegetable oil.

Among the methods of traditional medicine, acupuncture and apitherapy show good results. Some patients feel better after hirudotherapy, mineral therapy.

Sanatoriums and resorts

It is recommended to consolidate the effectiveness of the main treatment of osteoarthritis by resting in health resorts and rehabilitation centers specializing in joint diseases. It is better to give preference to institutions that have hot springs, minerals, mud, healing clay, special gases.

Whirlpool - a balneotherapy method used to treat osteoarthritis

Treatment in the spas is carried out with an emphasis on physical therapy. A patient with arthrosis is definitely recommended to follow a diet, not to miss exercise therapy, massage. Among physiotherapy, balneotherapy methods are used. These are whirlpools, swimming, baths (hydrogen sulfide, salt, nitrogen, sulfide and radon). In case of arthrosis, wraps with therapeutic mud, exposure to heat, Bernard currents, laser and magnetic field are also prescribed. Each spa has its own therapeutic program, which must be clarified with the representative of the selected institution before purchasing the ticket.

In each country there are institutions specialized in the treatment of pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. Therefore, with osteoarthritis, it is better to choose a health resort with the help of your doctor. He will recommend what kind of weather is needed, the holiday season, the physiotherapy methods needed for prevention, provide information about resorts and advise on the best institution in your area or nearby.

The prognosis of osteoarthritis therapy

It is very important not to miss a scheduled medical examination (1-2 times a year) and to donate blood, urine for examination, as this allows doctors to detect pathological processes in a timely manner. But the later a person seeks medical help, the worse the treatment prognosis. With chronic osteoarthritis, doctors can only relieve pain by conservative therapy methods, partially preserve joint function, or recommend an operation so you don't remain incapacitated.

The combination of official, traditional and traditional medicine methods under the regular supervision of the attending physician increases the prognosis of the treatment of arthrosis and other diseases of the musculoskeletal system.