How is arthrosis treated? 10 approaches to therapy

effective methods of treating arthrosis

Arthrosis implies joint damage and degenerative-dystrophic changes in them. This requires competent and timely treatment. It may include a complex of conservative methods or imply the need for surgical intervention.

Arthrosis is a chronic disease of degenerative-dystrophic nature. It involves the destruction of cartilage and pathological changes in the capsule, synovium, ligamentous apparatus and adjacent bone structures. Pathology requires an integrated approach to treatment.


One of the main areas of conservative treatment for arthrosis is the use of drugs. The following medications are commonly prescribed:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They relieve inflammation, pain and fever.
  • Glucocorticosteroids. These drugs also relieve inflammation and pain, but are more effective.
  • Pain medications. These include analgesics and some NSAIDs.
  • Chondroprotectors. Such medicines are used in long courses. They are necessary for the restoration of the affected cartilaginous structures.
  • Muscle relaxants and antispasmodics. These drugs also relieve pain by eliminating muscle spasms.
  • If arthrosis is a consequence of gout, then anti-gout medications are needed.
  • Vasodilators. Such drugs have a vasodilating effect.
  • Compresses are effective in treating arthrosis, for which medical bile and other means are used.
  • Vitamin and mineral complexes. They are necessary to activate immunity, normalize material metabolism and metabolic processes, replenish missing elements and assimilate them. Calcium supplements are usually prescribed.

Self-choice of medicines is often mistaken. The attending physician should prescribe medications and determine the characteristics of their use.


Arthrosis treatment usually includes various physiotherapy procedures. They are used as part of conservative therapy and are prescribed after surgery to speed up recovery and reduce the risk of complications.

The following procedures are effective for arthrosis:

treatment of arthrosis with physiotherapy methods
  • laser therapy- exposure to heat to stimulate regeneration;
  • magnetotherapy- increasing vascular tone, activating metabolic processes, accelerating recovery, relieving inflammation;
  • ozokeritotherapy- warming up to improve microcirculation and relieve pain;
  • electrophoresis- administration of drugs by means of electric current;
  • cryotherapy- exposure to low temperatures to relieve swelling, pain, reduce muscle tone;
  • ultrasound- exposure to high-frequency sound to improve material metabolism;
  • UHF therapy- softening of calcium deposits, normalization of material metabolism, reduction of edema;
  • homeosiniatry- the introduction of homeopathic remedies into biologically active points.

Physiotherapy procedures have contraindications. These include exacerbation of the inflammatory process, pregnancy, and active tuberculosis. There are also a number of restrictions for individual procedures.


Massage is used in remission of arthrosis or in the subacute period. In an acute disease, such treatment is excluded, since the affected joints need complete rest.

Massage for arthrosis provides the following effects:

  • pain relief;
  • return of mobility, elimination of stiffness;
  • activation of blood circulation and lymph flow;
  • prevention of muscle atrophy, strengthening of the muscle corset;
  • improvement of metabolic processes and tissue trophism.

The features of the massage depend on which joints are affected. In any case, such therapy should be performed exclusively by a qualified specialist. Before the massage, he must assess the degree of mobility, the condition of the muscles, identify contractures, ankylosis, pain points.

The effectiveness of massage is provided by its course application. The number of sessions is determined individually. Periodically, massage courses need to be repeated - their frequency is also selected on an individual basis.

exercise therapy

Physiotherapy is actively used for arthrosis. It is needed to activate blood circulation and metabolic processes, restore joint mobility, and strengthen the muscle corset. At the initial stage, exercise therapy should be done under the supervision of an instructor.

In the future, you can do home gymnastics:

physiotherapy exercises for arthrosis
  • Lie on your back on a firm surface and stretch your legs. Bend one leg at the knee, keeping the foot at a height of 5-10 cm from the floor. Fix in this position for 5 seconds, return to the starting position. Do 5 repetitions alternately on each leg.
  • The starting position is the same. Bend one leg and press your hands to the body. Fix for a few seconds. Then put your foot on the floor and slowly straighten the limb. Do 10-15 repetitions for each leg.
  • The starting position is the same. Raise your straightened leg 25-30 cm above the floor and fix it for a few seconds. Return to starting position. Do 20-30 repetitions on each leg in turn.
  • Lie on your stomach. Bend your knees alternately, trying to reach your buttocks with your heels, but without lifting your hips off the floor. Do 20-50 reps for each leg.
  • The starting position is the same. Bend your knees alternately, fixing yourself for a few seconds at the extreme point. Do 10 reps for each leg.
  • Sit down and straighten your back. Alternately bend and unbend the legs, maintaining a moderate pace. In the future, you can do the exercise with a small weight.
  • The starting position is the same. Raise your leg to form a right angle. Fix for 3 seconds and return to the starting position. Do 10 reps for each leg.

Osteoarthritis can affect different joints, so the set of exercises in each case should be special. It should be developed by a specialist, taking into account the individual characteristics of the patient and his illness.

All exercises should be performed smoothly, sharp movements are excluded. During gymnastics it is necessary to monitor your breathing - it should be calm and measured.


Treatment of arthrosis involves some lifestyle changes:

  • If you are overweight, you need to normalize it. This moment is especially important in case of damage to the lower extremities.
  • Moderate physical activity. High loads should be excluded, therefore, you should not engage in professional sports. The best option is physiotherapy exercises and regular walking.
  • Attentive attitude to the state of your health. Treatment of chronic diseases, periodic intake of vitamin-mineral complexes, preventive examinations by a doctor is necessary.
  • The right choice of clothing and footwear. A person should not feel shy. Tight clothing is fraught with blood stagnation, which is dangerous with arthrosis. Women should avoid high heels, shoes should be stable.
  • Correct organization of sleeping and working place. All furniture should be comfortable. It should provide such a position of the body that does not slow down blood circulation, does not cause limb flow. If you have problems with movement, you should equip your home with special handles and handrails.


With arthrosis, it is imperative to follow the correct diet. Features of the diet are individual and depend on many factors.

The general principles of nutrition are as follows:

  • Fractional nutrition. You need 5-6 meals per day, and the portions should be small.
  • Proper metabolism is ensured by a sufficient amount of carbohydrates. Emphasis should be placed on complex carbohydrates - vegetables, fruits, berries, cereals.
  • Elimination of simple carbohydrates - sugar, sweets.
  • Vegetable fats are needed to speed up metabolic processes. As for butter, only a natural product is useful.
  • To restore cartilaginous structures, it is useful to use jellied meat, jelly on a gelatin basis.
  • For cooking, you need to limit yourself to cooking, stewing, and steam cooking.
  • Exclusion of spicy, salty, fatty, fried foods from the diet. Refusal of fatty meat, fast food, corn oil.
  • Nutrition should be enriched with milk, cottage cheese, other dairy and fermented milk products. They should be fat-free or low-fat.
  • You need foods rich in zinc and magnesium - liver, fish, nuts, pumpkin, legumes.
  • Oranges and bell peppers are good sources of antioxidants. To relieve inflammation, you need to use pomegranate, pineapple.

Special orthopedic appliances

In the treatment of arthrosis, various devices are often used to make life easier for the patient and reduce the risk of some complications.

The following constructions are used in orthopedics:

orthopedic devices for arthrosis
  • Cane - used to redistribute the load in case of damage to the lower extremities. It is usually used in the last stages of the disease, as well as after surgery.
  • Orthoses - used to fix joints. This allows you to reduce or adjust the mobility of the joint, gradually increase it.
  • Bandages - are also used for fixing joints, an advantage after injuries and operations.
  • Corsets - used for fixing and straightening the trunk, mainly for hip joints.
  • Heel pads - provide cushioning, reduce the load.
  • Liners for flat feet correction, foot relief.
  • Correctors for deformed fingers.
  • Silicone protectors to protect deformed fingers.

If arthrosis is caused by flat feet, orthopedic shoes and special insoles should be used. Such a measure is also necessary in case of damage to the lower extremities to reduce the risk of complications.

Extension of the joints

This technique is called traction. It can be manual or hardware. Traction is usually used when the hip or knee joints are affected.

Traction implies course application. On average, 10-12 sessions are required. They can be performed daily or every other day.

Joint extension is a temporary measure and should be repeated periodically. With arthrosis, 2 courses are usually carried out per year.

Traditional medicine

The use of traditional medicine is appropriate as an auxiliary direction in treatment.

The following recipes are effective for arthrosis:

  • Compresses with cabbage or horseradish leaves. The selected sheet must be washed or chopped in several places, applied to the affected area, fixed with foil and insulated. It is also effective to pre-dip the leaf in honey. Such a compress should be kept for several hours and done several times a day.
  • Mix equal parts iodine (5%), ammonia (10%), medical bile, glycerin and may honey. Mix the ingredients and place in a dark place for a week and a half. Before use, shake the mixture and heat the required volume in a water bath. Moisten a napkin in the composition, apply to the affected area, fix with cellophane and insulate. Do the compress at night until you recover.
  • 50 g of dried elecampane root pour half a glass of vodka and leave for 2 weeks in the dark. Rub the sore joints with the resulting product.
  • Grind eggshells into powder, mix with kefir to make a thick mixture. Wrap it in linen and attach it to the affected area, fix it with polyethylene and strengthen it. Do the compress every day and keep it for 2. 5 hours.
  • Mix equal parts honey with glycerin, alcohol and iodine. Gently apply the mixture with a cotton pad, moving from bottom to top.
  • Pour a handful of rolled oats with half a liter of water and boil for 10 minutes. Apply warm to the affected area, fix with foil and insulate. Withstand an hour.

Natural remedies also have contraindications and side effects. Each new product must be used carefully, starting with the minimum dosage and duration of use.

Surgical Treatment

Surgical intervention is necessary in case of serious pathological changes, development of serious complications, ineffectiveness of a conservative approach.

Surgical treatment of arthrosis can be carried out in the following ways:

  • Arthroplasty- restoration of articular surfaces. The indication can be ankylosis, contractures. Such an operation is possible only in the absence of an acute inflammatory process.
  • Arthrotomy- opening the joint to remove a foreign body, endoprosthetics, purulent contents.
  • Arthrodesis- ankylosis (joint immobility) is artificially created. The operation can be intra- and extra-articular.
  • Resection- partial or complete removal of the articular surface and synovium to create immobility within the joint.
  • Arthrorisis- creating conditions for limiting joint mobility.
  • Endoprosthetics- placement of an implant for complete or partial replacement of the affected joint.
  • Periarticular osteotomy- filing bones and exposing them at a certain angle. This measure allows you to shift the center of gravity and redistribute the load.

Arthrosis is a serious disease that causes irreversible changes. It is necessary to start adequate treatment as early as possible. It can be conservative or surgical and involves a range of different measures. The features of therapy are determined for each patient on an individual basis.