Thousands of people, especially after the age of fifty, suffer from various forms of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. This has a significant impact on the quality of life, imposing many restrictions and causing significant pain.
Osteoarthritis of the knee joint, also known as gonarthrosis, is rightfully considered one of the leaders in the list of the most common causes of disability among the ranks of the adult population of Russia. However, you should not think that at a young age you are not threatened by this ailment: you can leave the doctor's office with the entry "gonarthrosis of the knee joint" in the tab long before retirement.
Concept and causes of osteoarthritis of the knee
Osteoarthritis is nothing more than destructive changes in cartilage tissue, that is, its destruction, exhaustion, accompanied by a decrease in the volume of synovial fluid.
This can be due to many reasons:
- Postponed injuries and constant stress on the joints, exhausting physical work;
- Hereditary factors;
- Metabolic disorders;
- Poor diet, lack of essential vitamins and minerals.
Phases of osteoarthritis of the knee joint
Doctors distinguish three stages of osteoarthritis of the knee joint:
- Signs of the first stage are short-term pain that occurs after exertion and passes quickly enough during rest. The pain is dull, aching. Externally the joint looks healthy, the only thing that can be noticed at this stage is a slight swelling;
- In the second stage, the pain syndrome is characterized by increased strength and duration. Patients notice some stiffness in the joint in the morning, a creak when moving in the knee. Some limitation of movement is possible, the joint increases in volume;
- In the third stage, there is a significant limitation of mobility, constant severe pain, severe deformation of the joint.
Unfortunately, at the first signs of illness, hardly anyone sounds the alarm. As a result, people turn to specialists with already advanced osteoarthritis, when much more complex treatment is required.
Osteoarthritis of the knee with delayed diagnosis and lack of adequate therapy can have very serious consequences, up to complete immobility of the affected leg, when movement in space without crutch becomes completely impossible.
In more advanced cases, the only way out is surgery, during which an artificial joint is implanted.
These operations are complex, expensive and can be complicated.
Therefore, it is so important not to ignore the pain in the knee and not to delay a visit to a doctor.
Treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee joint with alternative methods
To defeat gonarthrosis, complex therapy is important - a combination of remedies prescribed by a specialist with folk remedies for osteoarthritis of the knee joints.
Traditional methods of treating arthrosis of the knee joint give a fairly good effect, especially in the initial stages of the development of the disease. Their use at least relieves pain and at most allows not to bring the matter to expensive operations.
Furthermore, one must not lose sight of the fact that this disease is chronic and therefore requires constant attention. Modern experts attribute osteoarthritis of the knee joint to incurable progressive diseases.
Consequently, most of the treatment consists in the continued intake of certain drugs to relieve pain and reduce the inflammatory process. However, taking medication for a long time without interruption is harmful. That is why for people suffering from gonarthrosis, it is so important to be able to do with folk methods, at least during periods of remission.
So, let's find out what is the alternative treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee joint. The experience in combating this disease dates back hundreds of years, so the list of remedies that can be used at home is very large. For greater convenience, all folk remedies for the treatment of arthrosis of the knee joint can be divided into four groups.
The first group includes medicinal herbs: burdock, onion, celandine, cabbage leaves, etc. Herbal treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee joint involves the use of self-prepared drugs both inward and outward.
- Wraps made from fresh horseradish root, cabbage or burdock leaves, which must be applied to a sore knee, isolated with cotton wool or several layers of bandage and left overnight, bring tangible relief. Previously, the cabbage leaves are crumpled or beaten for greater effect so that they release the juice, you can lightly grease the leaves with honey. Burdock leaves are immersed in boiling water for 30 seconds, then cooled. The horseradish root is chopped and slightly heated;
- You can also use celandine: a few tablespoons of dried herbs are boiled with boiling water and then cooled to 40-50 ° C. The resulting infusion is drunk before meals, and the remaining produced celandine is applied as a compress;
- If the disease is in its early stages, the ice cure can be used. The ice pack is tightly attached to the sore spot with a woolen cloth and stays there until the ice melts. This compress is used when it is necessary to quickly eliminate edema and stop the inflammatory process;
- Tablets take a long time, so for many people a different rubbing will be more convenient. Rub is a liquid blend of healing agents that must be vigorously rubbed into the skin of the affected area. For the treatment of arthrosis, rubbing from the root of elecampane, aged with vodka, chamomile tincture, tincture of yellow dandelion heads and sunflower oil are especially suitable. It is best to apply them on clean skin, ideally steamed. It is necessary to rub the sore knee every day for 5-10 minutes, and then wrap it with a warm towel or cloth for a while;
- Another proven recipe is saber tincture, for the preparation of which 1-1, 5 tablespoons of herbs are poured into 100 ml of vodka and left. The knee is treated with the resulting tincture twice a day for a month;
- There is a recipe based on potato sprouts. They are washed, placed in a glass container, poured with vodka and left out of the reach of light for three weeks. After this period the infusion is filtered, the used shoots are discarded;
- You can also peel and chop the garlic head, pour 200 ml of vegetable oil over it and leave it in the dark for a week. The tincture has a strong smell, this must be taken into account if immediately after applying the rub you have to go somewhere. In this case, you should thoroughly wash the places where the dye has entered;
- Many people note the benefits of medicinal herbal baths: malt, senna grass and others. A pine bath gives a good effect. You can buy a ready-made collection of conifers at the pharmacy or make a decoction yourself. To do this, you need to take young twigs of coniferous trees with a total volume of about a liter, pour two or three liters of water and cook for about 10 minutes. Then the broth is filtered, the twigs are thrown away and the liquid is poured into a water bath. You should take baths with medicinal herbs for 15 minutes.
The simplest is the salt bath. Three tablespoons of normal or sea salt and the same amount of baking soda are poured into a basin with warm water, after which the sore knee is immersed in the basin for 15 minutes.
After the bath, the feet must be dried quickly and hidden under a warm cloth.
Self-prepared infusions are taken internally. They do not require boiling, the dried herbs are simply poured over with boiling water and left to cool. Infusions are taken 2-3 times a day, half a glass at a time. For the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, infusions of horsetail, juniper, young nettle and birch leaves are prepared.
For pain, a healing infusion of onions is very effective: two medium-sized onions are poured with a liter of boiling water and insist, the resulting liquid is consumed in three doses.
Another simple but effective recipe is cranberry tea. Pour a tablespoon of fresh or dried cranberry leaves with a glass of boiling water.
Like most infusions, this tea should be drunk half a glass twice a day for a month, preferably in the afternoon.
The use of these decoctions helps to restore metabolic processes in the affected cartilage tissues, reduce pain and promote the removal of harmful compounds from the joint fluid.
The second popular folk remedy for osteoarthritis of the knee joint is self-massage techniques. Self-massage is very effective, while it does not require any costs, except temporary ones. Please note that the knee must be prepared before the session! It is best to warm it up under a hot shower or gentle circular rubbing.
Then you can go straight to the massage.
Its main techniques are as follows:
- Round strokes with the palm of the hand. We alternate the lungs, without pressing, stroking clockwise and against it, while we affect not only the knee itself, but also the adjacent areas. This technique reduces muscle tone and improves blood and lymphatic outflow from the area affected by arthrosis;
- Rubbing. We rub the knee in a circle, providing tangible pressure. It can be rubbed with the palm or with a closed fist. This relaxes the muscles and improves the mobility of the joint. Circular movements are most effective in a Turkish pose if the condition of the knees allows;
- Knee knee with the fingertips with moderate pressure. This technique allows you to have a beneficial effect on deeper structures.
Self-massage can be done by taking a bath at a comfortable temperature. Some sources mention honey massage overnight, but a special cream or ointment is usually used. You can prepare such an ointment yourself.
This requires adding a small amount of an essential oil to the container with petroleum jelly. Rosemary oil has a positive effect on blood circulation, peppermint oil has a cooling and analgesic effect, and lavender oil helps stop inflammation.
The duration of the self-massage is about 15 minutes, it can be performed 2 to 4 times a day. Only self-massage carried out regularly will be effective. Furthermore, the massage is useful as a preventive measure, in which case it will be sufficient to perform it at least once a week.
When massaging yourself, you shouldn't feel any pain or discomfort, otherwise you can only aggravate the situation.
The third remedy is corrective gymnastics. It also requires preliminary preparation, warming up, which can be used as a self-massage. Such a complex use of these two means has a positive effect on their effectiveness.
Here are three simple exercises:
- Sit on a table or high chair with your feet off the floor. Then swing your legs from side to side, the swings shouldn't be abrupt and the range of motion is too wide. The duration of the exercise is about seven minutes;
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your knees bent at right angles and your feet straight on the floor. The exercise can be performed with only one affected leg, but using both legs is helpful not only when both knees are affected, but also for preventive purposes. Place your foot on your toes, lift your heel off the floor as high as you can, then lower it to the floor, then continue this movement at a calm pace for five minutes. It can be performed with two legs alternately or simultaneously;
- Assume the same position as the previous position, only now rests only on the heel. Use your toes to lightly slap the floor. The duration of the exercise is five minutes.
Some exercises can be done early in the morning while still in bed. They are a kind of joint exercise. One such exercise is the bicycle exercise.
Another exercise is performed as follows: one leg should be bent and the other should be left extended, the toes of the straight leg should be pulled towards you as much as possible, then the legs should be changed. Repeat several times. You can also alternately pull your legs to your chest and straighten them.
The fourth way to treat osteoarthritis of the knee at home is nutritional adaptation. It is not enough to influence the body from the outside, it is necessary to make up for the lack of substances necessary to restore the structure of the cartilage cells.
You will then have to make changes to the usual menu: add some products, exclude some or minimize their use.
The issue of nutrition is particularly relevant for overweight people, since with gonarthrosis the extra pounds further aggravate the already poor condition of the joint structures.
Let's start with a list of recommended products:
- Dairy products: cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, kefir with a fat content of not more than 3. 2%. They contain many proteins useful for the restoration of cartilage tissue;
- Millet, rice and buckwheat porridge, wholemeal bread. These foods are rich in complex carbohydrates, without which the synthesis of synovial fluid is impossible. You shouldn't buy instant porridge. They will not be useful, because cereals are processed for them in a completely different way than when cooking porridge at home, as a result of which most of the useful elements are destroyed;
- Dishes containing jelly: fish in jelly, meat in jelly, jelly, pudding. Gelatin provides the restoration of cartilage cells due to the high content of collagen and chondroitin;
- Any fruits and vegetables, as they are high in fiber. Vegetables, carrots, beans, celery, radishes and cauliflower are especially useful;
- Steamed or steamed meats and fish, especially when combined with vegetables;
- Sprouted wheat;
- Nuts: hazelnuts, pine nuts and almonds.
In order for healthy foods to be better absorbed, it is recommended to consume two glasses of mineral water a day.
Let's move on to the list of malicious products:
- Salt and spices. They cannot be completely eliminated from the diet, however, to combat joint diseases, it is worth limiting their use. This rule does not apply to turmeric: its use, on the contrary, is considered beneficial. Turmeric is proven to have a positive effect on cartilage tissue, which contributes to its growth and recovery;
- Any fatty, smoked and pickled dish;
- Semi-finished products;
- Fast food and carbonated drinks;
- Alcoholic beverages - even a small alcohol content slows down metabolic processes, which negatively affects the regeneration process;
- Sweets and flour products. They are loaded with simple carbohydrates which can trigger weight gain. As mentioned above, the extra pounds create an additional load on the joints already weakened by osteoarthritis;
- Coffee. This drink can be consumed, but only in small quantities, otherwise the calcium will be washed out of the body;
- Pepper, cabbage and tomatoes, which block collagen, preventing the regeneration and growth of cartilage tissue;
- Citrus and Cherry. Due to the high content of acids, their use negatively affects the structure of the bones.
To get the most out of this diet, remember to drink enough water - at least 1. 5 liters per day. The daily caloric intake must not exceed 3, 000 and the food must be at room temperature, in no case hot.
Do not forget that the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee is a long process and the success it will have depends on your willingness to regularly perform all the necessary procedures and adhere to a diet.
Regular visits to your doctor, listening to his advice and at the same time using folk remedies for osteoarthritis of the knee joint, you can make significant progress in the fight against this disease.