Osteoarthritis of the knee joint: symptoms and treatment by different methods

knee pain due to arthritis

There are diseases that progress over time. It is impossible to cure them completely, as well as return to the starting point, but it is quite possible to diagnose and stop them in a timely manner. Previously, it was possible to meet the symptoms of arthrosis of the knee joint in older people, but now the disease is "getting younger" and is often the cause of disability. So, what are the signs you need to pay attention to in time to start treatment?

The essence of what is happening

Before starting treatment or determining the specific signs of the disease, it is necessary to understand what is happening in the joint.

The articular surfaces of human bones are covered with cartilage. In some joints, like in the knee, there are menisci - cartilage layers that act as shock absorbers. The joint fluid produced by the capsule acts as a lubricant.

Polyarthrosis is a disease when all or most of the joints of the body are affected. The disease develops as a result of the destruction of the articular cartilage and the exposure of the bone.

When the knee joint is affected, changes also occur in the production of joint fluid. Some or all of the cartilage is lost and, over time, the joint wears out. When this is observed in most joints, the diagnosis is made: polyarthrosis.

The body tries to cope with such a violation, as well as limit pain. With the progression of the disease, the joint becomes deformed, the bones begin to grow due to the spikes (osteophytes). They can often be felt when probing in advanced situations, when polyarthrosis has developed. The surface of the bones is uneven and they do not fit together. The result is limited mobility.

From the above symptoms, it becomes clear that these are not salts, which everyone is so often used to thinking about with pain in the knee.

When to sound the alarm

The first thing that arthrosis of the knee, or polyarthrosis, manifests itself in is pain, which can occur after prolonged physical exertion or simply bother you all the time. Its nature is different, often the pain intensifies in the evening or at night, preventing sleep, leading to disruption of normal life. Already at this stage, it is worth visiting your doctor, because the simplest diagnosis - an x-ray, can reveal a violation, and in some cases, polyarthrosis. The picture will show a narrowing of the joint gap, which indicates thinning of the cartilage.


There are three degrees of arthrosis, each of which has its own specific signs. With their help, you can also suspect polyrthrosis, which will require special treatment.

At the first stage, the pain is not strong and it seems to many that it will pass soon. In addition to it is discomfort and a slight, periodically occurring swelling. This will require minor treatment, which will be discussed below. Additionally, laser therapy and other physiotherapy are indicated.

In the second degree, the symptoms become more complex, a crunch is added to all of the above, and mobility is impaired. There may be a slight hemorrhage.

Laser therapy and doctor's recommendations on taking medications can help in this case. If this is not done, the pain will become permanently pronounced, and it will be time to think about the third degree.

In the third stage, the integrity of the cartilage is completely destroyed. Pain is constant, and there can be no talk of a normal gait. Climbing stairs becomes a real problem, the joints are swollen. When moving, a pronounced crunch occurs, the joint becomes deformed, pain is felt on palpation.

Polyarthrosis is additionally manifested by reddening of the skin, it is hot when touched. On the skin there is a hemorrhage as a result of bursting blood vessels or a venous network. If this cosmetic defect interferes, then it is really possible to get rid of it with a laser.

In the last stages, the person becomes unstable as a result of weakness of the muscles and ligaments. Walking is possible only with the support of a stick, and even then for short distances. It all ends with a deformation of the knee, which even a laser cannot correct. Changes can no longer be reversed, a person becomes disabled. In this case, the joints are deployed towards each other or in opposite directions.

Medical diagnostics can reveal a slight change in shape, and for significant ones, additional diagnostics will be required. Usually, the doctor prescribes an x-ray, which shows changes in the joints. A more subtle diagnosis is carried out using CT, MRI, and an ultrasound of the knee joint is additionally used.


The treatment of this disease excites many, and only a doctor can figure it out. The arsenal of drugs is very large, it is impossible to use them uncontrollably.

With improper use of drugs, a stomach ulcer can also be added to arthrosis. But it is almost impossible to restore damaged cartilage.

First of all, the doctor prescribes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to the patient, which, along with inflammation, relieve pain. But the treatment doesn't end there. Exercises, physiotherapy are widely used. Special therapeutic exercises are selected only by a doctor, then it gives the maximum therapeutic effect. About everything in more detail.

doctor examining a knee with arthrosis

Use of drugs

The main treatment falls on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Additionally, agents are used that improve cartilage nutrition and promote its gradual regeneration. The most tested in this regard are drugs based on glucosamine and chondroitin. To consolidate the treatment allow special creams and ointments that have a local effect.

It is worth noting that the drugs reduce pain and relieve inflammation, but it is very dangerous to use them constantly. Treatment for a long time negatively affects the condition of the gastric mucosa, liver and heart. Recently, they began to produce drugs with a minimal negative effect, according to some manufacturers, they can be used for several months.

Gymnastics and physiotherapy

Complementary therapies can improve blood flow and, consequently, nutrition of the joints. Special exercises can strengthen ligaments and muscles. That's just the effect of gymnastics in the early stages, when the joint has not changed much. Exercises are selected strictly individually, depending on the severity of the course of the disease, and the physical abilities of the patient.

exercise therapy for knee arthritis

Also, exercises are supplemented by physiotherapy, there are a large number of them. Magnetotherapy, laser therapy, diodynamics, UHF, electrophoresis with novocaine, ultrasound and much more are used.

Injections in the joint

In the last stages, when physiotherapy or a laser do not help, in order to relieve pain, they resort to injections into the joint cavity. Preparations based on hyaluronic acid are introduced, which increase the restorative properties of cartilage. The introduction of hormonal drugs is often practiced, however, this is not safe, because over time, the duration of the therapeutic effect is reduced, and the cartilage simply becomes unusable.


Joint replacement is a last resort when your own joint cannot be saved, and it is no longer able to function. This operation is called arthroplasty and allows you to almost completely restore the lost function, remove pain. In reality, it is possible to replace the entire joint (total arthroplasty) or its most altered part. At the present stage, the level of surgical technique, manufactured implants is so perfect that it makes it possible to obtain successful results and introduce this method of treatment everywhere.

It is not difficult to diagnose polyarthrosis of the knee, especially if you pay attention to the characteristic symptoms. A visit to the doctor will allow you to refute or confirm the diagnosis. There are a lot of treatment options, as well as the choice of drugs, which allows you to quickly remove the pain. But it’s not worth bringing your knees to a joint replacement, because your native joint is much better than an artificial one, no matter how high-quality it may be.