Regular pain in the knee when moving and limited mobility indicate a serious problem in the joint. With a high degree of probability, osteoarthritis - the degradation of the cartilaginous tissue of the joint - will be diagnosed. To avoid disability, it will be necessary to treat osteoarthritis of the knee joint.
What medications are prescribed to treat joint osteoarthritis?
The choice of the treatment system and appropriate medications depends on the degree of joint damage and the presence of concomitant diseases. If osteoarthritis is in the first or second stage, then drug treatment is possible. In the case of the third stage of the disease, complicated by other ailments, the only treatment is surgery. Therefore, it is important to recognize the problem in time and start solving it using conservative methods.
Osteoarthritis can develop in childhood due to inadequate formation of ligaments or joint surfaces.
The disease can also appear after injury or the formation of other pathologies of the body, including:
- fractures, muscle strains, bruises and knee dislocations;
- consequences of professional sports;
- meniscus surgery;
- salt deposits in the joint;
- pathologies that are accompanied by muscle spasms.
If treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint is started immediately after the first signs of the disease are identified, a complete recovery is possible. At a later stage, when the disease becomes chronic, long-term remission can be achieved.
Classic treatments include:
- use of medications;
- manual therapy, physiotherapy, physical therapy and massage;
- use of traditional medicine (ointments, rubs).
Today, doctors offer new methods of treating osteoarthritis of the knee joint: the use of hormone-containing drugs, drugs to relieve spasm and restore the cartilaginous tissue of the joint. These are non-steroidal drugs that relieve inflammation, chondroprotectors, various types of ointments, compresses and intra-articular injections.
A complex treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint is also possible, in which the use of traditional medicine, medications and massage is allowed at the same time. They complement each other's actions, relieve pain and promote joint renewal.
Let's see how each type of medication works in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
In the process of restoring the joint, the load on the knee should be limited and the orthopedic regimen followed. During an exacerbation, the patient's nutrition plays an important role.
All efforts at the treatment stage should be directed at:
- pain relief;
- elimination of inflammation and swelling;
- improve the condition of articular cartilage;
- activation of blood supply to the sore knee;
- restoration of joint muscles.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
The treatment regimen for knee osteoarthritis usually includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy. They reduce pain and eliminate inflammation. The most effective is to prescribe medications in the form of injections. The drugs act quickly on the affected area and do not affect the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes NSAIDs are used in the form of ointments. They are less effective and usually serve as a complement to the main treatment.
The treating doctor usually prescribes non-steroidal medications in the lowest effective doses, increasing them if necessary.
In addition to NSAIDs, to improve the condition of a sore knee, chondroprotectors are prescribed, which restore cartilage tissue and improve the composition of synovial fluid. A special feature of this group of drugs is the long recovery period during the administration of the drug. The course of treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint with chondroprotectors lasts six months or more. If no visible changes occur during this period, other recovery methods are selected.
It is advisable to simultaneously use chondroprotectors and hyaluronic acid. Preparations based on hyaluronic acid are injected into the joint. They contribute to the restoration of connective tissue, since they participate in the formation of chondrocytes, articular cartilage cells.
Ointments for the treatment of the knee.
For osteoarthritis, the use of local medications, for example, ointments, is also recommended. They cannot completely cope with the disease, so they are used in conjunction with other drugs. Using ointments can speed healing.
The main effects of ointments for osteoarthritis:
- relieve inflammation;
- eliminate pain;
- relieve muscle spasms;
- improve blood circulation;
- improve nutrition of joint tissues;
- protect against the development of infections.
Compresses for the knee with osteoarthritis.
This type of manipulation is the most common in the treatment of gonarthrosis and osteoarthritis. This is due to the fairly rapid relief of the symptoms of the disease. Compresses are most often used in alternative medicine, where herbal decoctions and tinctures are used for treatment. It should be understood that a compress alone will not cure the disease, therefore it is necessary to combine its use with the reception of traditional medications.
The use of compresses is associated with quickly obtaining positive effects:
- improves blood circulation;
- nutrients and components of the drug quickly reach the affected area of the joint;
- increases muscle tone;
- inflammation is relieved;
- the intensity of the pain decreases;
- The functionality of the synovial fluid is restored.
Intra-articular injection is one of the most advanced forms of treatment. This therapy is very effective, but also quite expensive. The condition of the sore knee improves because the medicine directly reaches the affected area. The drug stops the development of the inflammatory process and provides nutrition to the articular cartilage. Intra-articular injections of chondroprotectors treat the joint and not only relieve symptoms.
If the drug is injected directly into the joint capsule area, it immediately begins to act. With intramuscular, intravenous injections and tablets, the onset of action is significantly prolonged. In addition, there are negative side effects on other organs.
There are two groups of medications that are prescribed for injections into the joint. These include glucocorticoids and hyaluronic acid.
Vitamins are an important addition to medications and other treatments. They contribute to the rapid renewal of cartilage tissue and also maintain the general condition of the body. In the treatment of osteoarthritis, vitamins B, C, A and E are prescribed along with medications.
Manual therapy in the treatment of gonarthrosis.
Comprehensive therapy for osteoarthritis should include manual therapy procedures. The specialist applies his hands to the patient's body to improve blood circulation in the affected joint, normalize its mobility and prevent atrophic processes. Manual exercises, when combined with medications, help in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip joints.
The duration of use of manual therapy procedures depends on the severity of osteoarthritis. Normally the doctor prescribes 1 to 10 sessions. This method is effective in the initial or middle stages of the disease. An orthopedist must prescribe the degree of damage, treatment methods and duration of use of each method after a thorough diagnosis.
Physiotherapy for gonarthrosis.
This method of joint treatment is very effective in combination with medications. Physical therapy can speed up the recovery process, reduce the doses of medications taken and the likelihood of side effects.
There are several types of physical therapy used for osteoarthritis:
- exposure to a magnetic field;
- radiation exposure;
- ultrasonic influence.
The type of physiotherapy, its duration and amount are prescribed by the physiotherapist after diagnosing the patient. There are a number of concomitant diseases for which physiotherapy is contraindicated.
Special exercises for osteoarthritis are used in the early stages of the disease, when the cartilage tissue has not yet been destroyed. Moderate physical activity can stop negative changes in your joints. At a later stage of osteoarthritis, physical education for therapeutic purposes is used during the period of remission, when primary therapy is carried out to relieve pain and inflammation.
All exercises should be performed without problems with a moderate load on the legs. A correctly selected exercise therapy complex improves blood circulation, increases metabolism and activates the absorption of drugs, strengthens muscles, which ensures effective treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint.
Physiotherapy exercises are included in the treatment of rheumatoid osteoarthritis.
Late-stage osteoarthritis cannot be treated with medications. The only solution is surgery. Only it can restore knee mobility. Factors for prescribing surgical treatment are the third stage of osteoarthritis, the lack of effect of conservative methods and severe knee injuries against the background of the development of osteoarthritis.
Today, there are four types of surgical intervention in the treatment of knee pain:
- joint preservation;
- joint replacement;
- joint resection;
- joint strengthening.
The doctor selects the type of operation based on the degree of damage to the joint, concomitant diseases and the response of the patient's body to the use of a particular method of conservative treatment. It should be understood that surgical intervention is accompanied by a long period of rehabilitation using a therapy complex. Therefore, the need for surgery must be strictly justified by a comprehensive diagnosis.
Proper nutrition during the development of osteoarthritis can reduce the rate of joint damage and increase the effectiveness of treatment of the disease. It is important to understand which foods should be regularly present in the diet, and which should be abandoned forever. Sea fish, fresh vegetables and fruits help improve joint function. Fish oil improves the condition of cartilage. Additionally, phosphorus, iron and selenium are important in the formation of many tissues, including cartilage. Apple and pomegranate juice have good anti-inflammatory properties. Its presence in the diet not only prevents the development of inflammatory processes, but also combats those that have already begun.
People who suffer from osteoarthritis should exclude foods containing trans fats from their diet. Additionally, fatty meats, whole milk, and corn oil should be avoided. The fats contained in these products destroy the cartilage tissue of the joints.