What is osteoarthritis of the joints and why it occurs

The life of a person with osteoarthritis is divided into "before" and "after". Before the disease was large and small joy, sometimes a minor problem. When there are only the daily struggle and the quiet despair of normal life will never return. But you can solve the problem forever!

Deforming arthrosis of the knee

What is arthrosis

It is a disease of the joints, when the articular cartilage over time is destroyed, the articular ends of the bones modifierade, periarticular tissues degenerate and actively thriving inflammation.

Causes and development

Osteoarthritis can develop because of excessive stress or injury to joints. In any case, the process is accompanied by a decrease in the number of proteoglycans (complex of proteins). Due to the lower amount of proteoglycans in the joint loses water, since these molecules hold her. As a result, the cartilage "dries", loses elasticity, becomes rough and dry. Because of this, there is abnormal friction, as a result, the pain. Due to the friction joint is "erased", the cartilage becomes thinner, it becomes thinner. Because of the constant microtrauma to the joint formed outgrowths — osteophytes. The last stage is the complete disappearance of cartilage.

Mistakenly people take the osteophytes behind the "salt" that is necessary "to disperse". But they are not salt deposits, and to disperse in the joints nothing.

Risk factors for osteoarthritis determine its causes. Please note that in the presence of one factor (e.g. age 50 years) of arthritis may not occur, but the chances of its occurrence increases with the presence of 2 or more causes such as, trauma at the age of 50 years. All the factors can be divided into genetic and non-genetic, external and internal.

Internal factors:

  • Age. Over time, the body's ability to regenerate decreases, and the cell activity decreases. This decreases the production of collagen, synovial fluid in the joints becomes less.
  • Violation of metabolism. For osteoarthritis can cause various metabolic. The most common cause is lower levels of estrogen and diabetes mellitus. Lead to arthritis and various metabolic diseases.
    Deficiency of minerals and vitamins. Here everything is clear. If you don't receive the necessary substances, collagen and other substances just don't what to be synthesized. Pathology can develop on the background of the anomalies in the absorption of substances.
  • Overweight. Little influence reason as to osteoarthritis arose solely because of excess weight a person needs to have a weight far beyond 150 kg. But he has influence, increases the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.
  • Developmental disorders of bones, joints. Such anomalies can occur because of heredity, but for other reasons. The pathology development is not a sentence, subject to certain rules of osteoarthritis will never occur.
  • Osteoarthritis of the hip joint
  • Arthritis. When the inflammatory process is disrupted blood flow to the joint, changes the composition of synovial fluid and cartilage. Please note that after getting rid of arthritis the risk of osteoarthritis remains until the composition of the fluids and tissues of the joint does not return to normal.
  • A heart attack of the joint. Different aseptic necrosis of the hip. Develops with thrombophilia — tendency of blood to clot. But usually thrombophilia does not lead to infarction of the joint, therefore, the development of osteoarthritis requires the involvement of other reasons.
  • Chronic stress. Depression and prolonged anxiety lead to lower levels of regeneration, reduction of the protective properties of the organism. Increases the likelihood of developing any disease, not just arthritis.

External factors:

  1. Injury. These include various types of sprains, damage to the joint capsule, the bony base of the joint. Such injuries are rare, and with appropriate treatment go unnoticed. But other factors may be arthritis.
  2. Excessive stress on the joint. It occurs in professional athletes or employees who are walking long distances. But this factor is subject to the recommendations of the coach and in the absence of other factors, rarely leads to osteoarthritis.
  3. Surgical intervention (meniscectomy, etc.). After surgery patients are prescribed medical therapy, bed rest, and other treatments to reduce the risk of complications. In case of their violation increases the risk of osteoarthritis.

The main symptoms

To diagnose arthritis is quite simple, it can make even the unprepared person, it is sufficient to understand the types of joint pain.

Types of joint pain:

  1. The pain occurs and increases the load alone, the pain diminishes;
  2. If the patient lay, and the other person will bend his limb, the pain will occur as usual (due to friction in the joint);
  3. Pain from work increases gradually, in the course of the disease is increasing.

Another characteristic symptom is a dry crunching in the joint when moving. In normal joints also crackle, but the sound from a healthy joint is sharp, the joints it does not hurt. For osteoarthritis of the crunch of the dry, the first time you hear it is bad, but follows the movement continuously. This person feels strong pain.

With the development of the disease there are other characteristic symptoms are: low mobility, deformity of the joint. On the x-ray shows reduction of the joint space, bony outgrowths on the heads of the bones, their deformation.

Osteoarthritis most often occurs in the knee and hip joints, as they are experiencing high loads. Less frequently it occurs in the shoulder and elbow joints on the fingers or toes. There is a kind of disease generalized osteoarthritis that affects all the joints in the body.

The stage of the disease

Osteoarthritis of the foot

When osteoarthritis is damaged articular cartilage, bone and adjacent tissue. The stage of osteoarthritis is isolated depending on the degree of destruction of the joint.

Stage 1

At this stage, degenerative processes affect only the collagen fibers and proteoglycan molecules in the cartilage. Due to changes in the composition of cartilage or synovial fluid there is abnormal friction that leads to pain. The pain occurs after strenuous exercise, alone, she disappears. Movement of the joint while not difficult, does not affect the muscle fibers, joint capsule and surrounding vessels. At this stage on the x-ray changes are not visible or they are insignificant.

Stage 2

Due to abnormal friction, cartilage loses its elastic properties and strength, gradually becomes thinner and no longer protects the head bones. As a result, they flattened, which increases the area of contact. The edges of the joint pads formed outgrowths — osteophytes, which are clearly visible under x-ray.

At this stage, the pain pursues the patient not only with loads, but with any slight movements. The rest does not give full relief, although it may reduce the pain. Joint partially lose mobility, and the patient himself also tries to load the affected limb.

Due to the lack of mobility worsens the blood supply to the joint. As a result of changes in the composition of synovial fluid, it becomes viscous and loses its lubricating properties, which accelerates the disease. On the x-ray shows reduction of the lumen of the joint space by 50-70%, it becomes noticeable deformity of the joint.

Stage 3

At this stage cartilage is fully or partially disappears. Joint flexibility is lost, the patient experiences severe pain not only when moving but at rest. The joint space and synovial fluid disappear, and joint capsule shrinks and atrophies. At this stage it is only possible surgical treatment with the replacement of the joint with an artificial prosthesis. If this is not done, then there is ankylosis with inability of motion.


Even with 100% dedication and patient-joint is fully restored only at the 1 stage of osteoarthritis. The 2nd stage, there are deformation of the bones, so to return to the former joint mobility will not work. But you can delay the operation for a long time, if not to avoid it. 3-stage osteoarthritis is treated only surgically.


In treatment 1 and 2 stages of osteoarthritis of uses a variety of techniques. In the first place this medication. There are different physiotherapy, biological therapies, massage. If overweight you want to normalize food.

Symptomatic therapy

For the treatment of pain used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. By all means have many contraindications, in addition, they are not recommended for long-term use, worsen the synthesis of proteoglycans in the joint.

For pain it is better to use a selective anti-inflammatory drugs. They do not cause complications, have few contraindications and can be taken indefinitely long period of time. To improve circulation can be used vasodilator drugs or local ointments irritating.

Specific therapy

She is taking chondroprotector (glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate) — preparations for the restoration of cartilage. Glucosamine stimulates the chondrocytes, besides it is a raw material for the creation of proteoglycan molecules. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan enhances the ability to capture and retain water. In addition, it stimulates the formation of collagen fibers and inhibits the dissolving of their enzymes.

Also used intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid. It is the raw material for collagen fibers and a component of synovial fluid. Method of treatment common and proved its effectiveness. To obtain the effect of the specific therapy requires a long time — 1-1. 5 years until the cartilage is fully restored.


The most recent and radical method of treatment of osteoarthritis. During the surgery disconnects the affected joint, the articular head and the bed joint are removed. In their place is put an artificial joint with a titanium head and a bed of high strength polyethylene. The whole structure is fixed in the bones with pins.

Surgery to replace a hip or knee joint is difficult and dangerous. Often leads to complications (pulmonary embolism, infectious diseases). Even with the successful operation of the prosthesis over time, "shattered" and requires replacement. This occurs after a maximum of 10-15 years, minimum term of 1-3 years.

Manual therapy

Other treatments

Many procedures aimed at removing the damaging friction in the joint, improve blood circulation. Many methods of treatment they should be applied comprehensively or alternate. Let us examine just a few of the most effective ways of treatment:

  1. Manual therapy. In the process, a manual therapist "pulls" the joint, reducing the pressure from the cartilage. The procedure should be conducted frequently and regularly, but the effect of it immediately.
  2. Another way of stretching of the joint hardware traction. Effectively applied on the knee joint, the knee is drawn on a special table using the apparatus. 2 courses a year for 10-12 sessions per course.
  3. Therapeutic massage. After the procedure improves the circulation of synovial fluid, increases blood flow, increases the ductility of the joint. Massage is contraindicated in inflammatory processes.
  4. Ultrasonic therapy. When ultrasonic oscillation is "massage" of the muscles, blood vessels and tissues of the cartilage. Ultrasound speeds up the metabolism due to biochemical exposure. He also has a thermal effect when the mechanical energy of sound is transformed into thermal energy.
  5. In exercise therapy for osteoarthritis includes a variety of exercises, including unusual training, which are applicable only in case of arthrosis.
    Here's an example exercise, which tells a specialized doctor artrolog with explanations to each exercise.

Nutrition with osteoarthritis

For a long time it was thought that osteoarthritis results in malnutrition and that it can be cured through diet. Today it became clear that nutrition directly has nothing to do with osteoarthritis.

Of course, excess weight is one of the factors that accelerate the course of osteoarthritis, so a diet is useful, but only to a certain circle of persons. Under the normalization of nutrition in osteoarthritis, you should understand exactly the getting rid of excess weight.

Weight reduction is especially important for people suffering from gonarthrosis, because the main weight of the body falls on the knees.

Weight loss

When shedding weight you need to understand and use a few rules that will simplify the task and will give guaranteed results:

  1. Psychological work. The desire to "hard to eat" occurs due to certain attitudes, like the desire to reward or to calm nerves with sugar. Such psychological problems are deprived of the motivation to weight loss, and increasing stress aggravates the situation. Losing weight without dealing with psychological problems will have only a temporary effect.
  2. No weight loss, and normalization of power. The main reason for overweight is — unhealthy diet. If to lose body weight, but not to eliminate an unbalanced diet, then after a while the person gains the weight back. You need to remove the root of the problem. That is, you need to normalize the power not to a particular "period diet", but forever.
  3. The gradual introduction of all the rules. Psychologically, to lose weight very difficult, so all the rules of a healthy diet must be introduced gradually. First, we introduce a single rule (for example, do not eat after 19:00) after become accustomed to the same rule, introduce another.
  4. Must be deleted from the menu of grilled meats, any food cooked in oil, pastries made with white flour. You need to eat more vegetables, fruits, plain porridge on the water. It is advisable to split the daily intake into 5-6 meals, to refrain from eating 3-4 hours before sleep, drink more water.

Arthritis is a terrible disease, but a systematic and timely approach to the treatment it retreats. To defeat him you need to know its essence, mechanisms of development, risk factors and causes of development. If you apply all the recommended therapies, cure osteoarthritis will be quite simple.