As we age, many of us begin joint problems. Their mobility is hampered, and the movements are accompanied by pain. All these are signs of osteoarthritis, a chronic disease that affects the joints and often forcing completely change the way of life.
What happens in osteoarthritis? To understand this, we must become more closely acquainted with the structure of the joint.
Joint formed by two bony surfaces between which the cartilage. It is the presence of cartilage provides free movement joint movements at different plays the role of shock absorber, reducing the pressure on the bone.
Cartilage itself consists of connective tissue fibers which are arranged in a gelatinous substance — matrix. It is formed by glycosaminoglycans, and it comes at the expense of the power of the cartilage matrix, as well as restoration of damaged fibers.
Due to this structure, the cartilage can absorb the liquid when the joint is at rest, and at a load of liquid flows into the joint, providing a "lubricant" of the articular surfaces. Due to these features cartilage responds flexibly to the load, which the joints are exposed over a lifetime.
Eventually fibers forming cartilage, age and decompose. In a healthy joint, parallel to the process of tissue repair — produced the same number of new fibers. If this balance is disturbed, then the fabric of the cartilage begins to break down. First of all, the cartilage loses its ability to absorb adequate amounts of water, as it were "dry", becomes brittle and can not properly carry out its functions shock absorber.
With the development of osteoarthritis cartilage becomes thinner until the complete destruction of the cartilage and the loss is compensated by the growth of bone tissue. This leads to deformation of the joint, pain, difficulty of movement, which are the main manifestations of the disease.
Development osteoarthritis promote overweight, excessive load, a number of diseases including congenital disease, trauma, etc. Such a variety of reasons it difficult to select the right treatment.
To determine that you have just osteoarthritis, you can use X-rays. Depending on the severity of the changes are four stages of the disease: the first, the lightest to the fourth, when the structure of the joint is almost completely broken.
The disease mainly affects older people, but the first signs of it may be observed, and in 30-40-year-olds. Unfortunately, not always possible to identify disease early: patients no complaints, whereas the X-ray is visible changes in the cartilage.
Since in osteoarthritis affected articular cartilage in the treatment assigned drugs, protecting it and can improve its structure. This so-called hondroprotektory which are used in the form of tablets or injection (intramuscular, and intraarticular). It is also used anti-inflammatory therapy and injections of corticosteroids into the joint or next to it.
In order to facilitate the patient's condition should be possible to reduce the load on joint. To do this, the muscles that are close to it, can be strengthened by specific exercises, massage and physical therapy techniques.
If treatment proves to be ineffective, then resort to prosthetic joint.
Osteoarthritis — a disease that until recently leads to disability and a significant reduction in quality of life. However, being developed all the new treatments that allow to fight the disease as long as possible to keep the mobility of the joints.