How annoying it is when some unexpected malaise jeopardizes all our plans. Especially if it is pain in the joints, which does not want to go away, despite the handful of pills taken. Unfortunately, diseases of the musculoskeletal system are difficult and reluctant to be cured, but there is still hope.
Why do joints hurt?
Before starting treatment for diseased joints, it is necessary to determine the cause of the disease, and they can be very different. Most accurately, this can only be done by a specialist doctor after a complete examination of the patient. Sometimes joint pain occurs as a side effect of diseases that, it would seem, have nothing to do with the musculoskeletal system, such as allergic, skin, gynecological, gastrointestinal diseases.
But there are situations when the reason is not too serious, for example, some certain joints begin to hurt in athletes after intense training - they are overworked and thus signal to their owner. In this case, symptomatic treatment, stress reduction or short rest is sufficient. But if the pains recur, become constant, even if not too strong, this is a reason to think about it and consult a doctor.
Pain in the joints of the arms and legs
The most common people who suffer from joint pain are middle-aged and elderly people. But adolescents are often affected by the disease (juvenile arthritis).
If the small joints of the hand hurt, this indicates that an unpleasant disease has already begun.
Signs of arthritis are pain and swelling in the joints, redness of the skin over the affected area, indicating the presence of an inflammatory process. General malaise, fever, poor appetite are possible.
Doctors distinguish between several main types of arthritis:
- rheumatoid - a complicated course of rheumatism,
- crystalline - salt deposition in the joints,
- psoriatic - develops in the presence of psoriasis,
- post-traumatic - arising after an injury,
- reactive - develops in the presence of a focus of inflammation in the body.
With this formidable diagnosis, degenerative-dystrophic changes in the articular cartilage come into force, and, as a result, deformation of the joints. The disease often begins asymptomatic, so much so that a person does not even suspect about its presence for a long time, continuing to live a usual life. The pains make themselves felt when the destruction of the cartilage has reached a decent degree. The joints become less mobile, when they move, they emit a characteristic crunch. Often arthrosis is a consequence of polyarthritis, that is, one disease turns into another and often becomes the cause of disability.
Arthrosis has three stages, differing in the severity of the course and the degree of destruction of the joint.
This "royal disease" has always been considered the lot of men, but recently women have become more and more sick. The causes of gout are still not well understood, but it is known that it occurs when purine metabolism is disturbed and an excess of uric acid in the blood, the salts of which crystallize in the joints, thereby causing excruciating pain.
The causes of a particular disease of the musculoskeletal system can be very different. This list will also include heredity, metabolic disorders, diseases of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, infectious, skin and venereal diseases, decreased immunity, overeating, the use of large amounts of protein products in food, and various injuries. The list can be long.
Often, joint pains are experienced by pregnant women in the later stages. This can result from a rapidly growing body weight, increasing pressure on the joints, lack of vitamins and minerals, or excessive production of relaxin, which softens the tissues and ligaments of the joints.In a healthy woman, at the end of pregnancy, everything usually returns to normal.
Even more often women suffer after the onset of menopause. There is a restructuring of the endocrine system, the production of estrogen slows down, mobility decreases with age, and body weight often increases. All these factors negatively affect the condition of the joints.
Men are less likely to suffer from joint disease than women, apart from gout. This is due to the fact that a man by nature does not experience such hormonal surges, but he is often busy with hard work, so that the joints of the arms and shoulders of a man in old age are at risk.
And what to do?
This is the first question that comes to mind for a person who has been suffering from joint pain for some time. Further, as a rule, a person goes to a medical institution, where he undergoes a full examination and prescribes treatment.
There are many methods of treatment, they are different, but not always effective, since diseases of the musculoskeletal system are difficult to treat. It is necessary to treat in a comprehensive manner, for a long time and persistently. Then, at best, you can achieve long-term remission and maintain the joints in a satisfactory condition.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
The first thing a doctor prescribes for joint pain is NSAIDs. At the beginning, the injection is for several days, then the patient switches to pills. In the initial stage of the disease, these drugs help well, the pain decreases significantly or disappears completely for a long time. But alas, they will return someday anyway, and a person begins to take NSAIDs all the time, thereby injuring the gastrointestinal mucosa. Addictiveness occurs, the drugs change and the dosages increase. The patient is already dependent on these drugs.
In the presence of destructive changes in the articular cartilage (diagnosed by X-ray), doctors recommend taking chondroprotectors - chondroitin and glucosamine - the building blocks and components of the articular cartilage. If you believe the advertising, then these drugs will immediately and forever heal joints and there will be no trace of arthritis-arthrosis. Alas, advertising is once again disingenuous, and it is still impossible to restore the destroyed joint with the help of drugs. But it is quite possible to slow down the process, especially if you start taking chondroprotectors, without waiting for severe pain, and for a sufficiently long time.
Ointments and creams
There are many different ointments and creams recommended for joint pain. Doctors do not consider them too effective, since it is difficult for the drug to overcome the barrier of skin and muscles and penetrate into the joint itself. But they can still be used as an aid. Warming ointments and gels improve blood circulation in the periarticular tissues, thereby reducing pain and inflammation.
As a rule, if there are no contraindications, together with drug treatment, doctors prescribe physiotherapy procedures based on the diagnosis and severity of the disease. Magneto and laser therapy, various currents sometimes show excellent results. Let it be for a while, but a person who has got rid of pain will feel happy and fulfilled. If physiotherapy is carried out regularly, you can keep yourself in good shape.
You must always eat right, and not as soon as a disaster strikes. This is necessary for a good condition of the body and health. But it cannot be said that nutrition is one of the main causes of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Of course, it is necessary that the diet contains all the necessary substances for life. But, unfortunately, proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are not a guarantee of joint health. And in case of illness, the diet does not help much.
Although, with diseases such as gout, dieting is required. It is necessary to exclude from the diet foods rich in purines and alcohol.
Physical inactivity is the enemy of our joints, and not only them.Physical activity should always be - and when we are healthy, and even if an illness has come, then even more so. What is not exercised is abolished! Special methods of therapeutic gymnastics have been developed for joint diseases, which must be used for life. The intensity of training is determined by both the doctor and his own capabilities. But they must be mandatory.
Diseases of the joints are not a reason to put an end to life. Medicines will relieve pain, chondroprotectors and physiotherapy will keep our joints in shape, swimming and gymnastics will strengthen muscles, raise overall tone and improve mood. Spa treatment will consolidate the result.
Medicine does not stand still. Let's hope that scientists will nevertheless find how to save humanity from a serious illness that prevents many from living.