“It’s easy to say, it’s hard to do,” you will think and you will be absolutely right. Even a slight crunch can be a signal of the beginning of aging and thinning of the articular cartilage. Therefore, paraphrasing popular wisdom, we can say: “Take care of your joints from your youth.” Since the prevention and treatment of joints in the early stages of the manifestation of changes can significantly slow down the process of their destruction.
What are the main causes of joint damage?
Infection (inflammation) - local or general, and any source in the body can be the cause of a joint damage. The infection can spread to the joint cavity through the blood or lymph and settle in the synovial fluid of the joint. Damage to the joints in this case is the most severe, followed by a serious change in the joints themselves. Such causes are caused by infectious arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and secondary arthrosis.
Injuries - closed damage to the joints - bruises, sprains and ruptures of the capsular-ligamentous apparatus, damage to the intra-articular formations, intra-articular fractures can cause the development of arthritis.
Heredity (congenital changes). People born with joint dysplasia (from the Greek. Dys - violation and plaseo - forming) are at risk of developing arthritis (osteoarthritis) due to poor joint biomechanics. Some people inherit a defect in one of the genes responsible for cartilage formation. This leads to the formation of defective cartilage, which, in turn, causes rapid wear of the joint and, as a result, arthrosis.
Metabolic disease, excessive fullness leads to an increase in loads on the joints of the extremities and the spine, and the overall impact of metabolic disorders (in the body's metabolism) on the function of the musculoskeletal system as a whole. Overweight causes pathological changes in the cells of cartilage, as a result, cartilage tissue loses its elasticity and cracks form in it - and this leads to the development of arthrosis of the knee and hip joints. Metabolic disorders can cause gout, coxarthrosis (osteoarthritis of the hip joints) and gonarthrosis (osteoarthritis of the knee joints).
Hypothermia - Disorder of body functions as a result of low temperature. Hypothermia is possible not only at very low temperatures, but also at moderate, when the weather is wet. The body's resistance to hypothermia decreases with physical exhaustion, fasting, and alcohol intoxication. The consequence is various arthritis.
Hypokinesia (Greek. hypo - below + kinesis - movement) - limiting the number and nature of movements, due to lifestyle, features of professional activity or bed rest during the period of the disease, plays a large role in the development of pathological processes in the joints and is one of the significant factors of the disorders of motor apparatus.
The development of medical technology in some cases allows you to permanently solve the arisen health problem. But one should not hope for it in the case of joint disease - such a disease requires daily attention. And skeptics generally believe that the aging process is useless to treat. However, world experience shows that the earlier prevention and treatment is begun, the greater the chances of maintaining joint mobility.
As a prophylactic, experts advise to eat properly and maintain an adequate motor regimen - this reduces overweight. Nutritional guidelines are very simple - reducing the intake of animal fat, replacing fatty meat with lean meat, and better with fish and poultry, reducing carbohydrates - sugar, flour products, reducing salt.
And, of course, it is necessary to follow simple and well-known rules in everyday life:
weight transfer must be distributed to both hands, it is better to use a backpack;It is harmful to sit on one leg, it is better to lean back in your chair, stretch your legs and cross;sitting at work, you must alternately strain and relax the muscles of the hips, legs, buttocks;when doing domestic work, you must use kitchen utensils with comfortable handles, a soft pad for occasions when you need to kneel, and a mop for washing floors;the chair should be with armrests, slightly higher than the level of the knee joint, to make it easier to stand upright with your arms;shoes should be comfortable, preferably from natural materials with a steady wide heel of 3-5 cm.
Everyone without exception, and especially those who have the first symptoms of the disease, need to monitor the condition of their joints, perform special exercises that help improve blood circulation in the joints, form a good muscular system around the joint and preserve mobility. In addition, at the initial stage of the disease should be used drugs that have a beneficial effect on cartilage, improving its structure and prolonging its youth - these are products containing chondroitin (aka chondroprotectors), glucosamine, celadrin and methylsulfonylmethane. In addition, these drugs relieve or reduce pain in the joints.
Methods that improve the microcirculation and nutrition of the cartilage and periarticular tissues have proven to be effective in fighting mobility of joints - these are medications (vascular preparations, venotonics, antioxidants), and non-pharmacological treatment methods (physiotherapy, manual techniques, hydrotherapy, mud therapy, hydrogen sulphide and radon baths). Of great importance is the orthopedic correction (insoles-inductors, special orthopedic shoes, etc.), which allows you to “unload” the sore joint and reduce the load.
By the way, did you know that scientists learned to detect arthritis long before the onset of symptoms, using a simple blood test? A few years before the onset of the first symptoms of arthritis in the patient's blood, the level of certain proteins from the group of cytokines, which are produced by cells of the immune system, increases.
The possibility of long-term maintenance of the joints in working condition relies on an integrated approach in the prevention and treatment of these diseases. Experts recommend regularly (at least twice a year) to be checked by a doctor, which will allow to detect changes in the early stages, as well as stimulate the cartilage tissue with physical therapy and nutrients so that it can regenerate as long as possible.