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In old age, joint diseases are one of the most common, sometimes depriving a person of the ability to move. But many have only heard about these dangerous diseases, not really knowing either the causes of their occurrence, or the symptoms, or the treatment options.
Interestingly, in terms of the number of issued patients, the diseases of this group firmly hold the third place after cardiovascular and respiratory. So you can not treat these diseases with disdain, believing rumors and speculation. Doctors-rheumatologists debunk the main myths, sometimes ridiculous, about joint diseases.
Sore joints are most common in older people. First of all, it is worth understanding what group of diseases of the musculoskeletal system is in general. If we talk about degenerative-dystrophic diseases, which include the well-known arthrosis, then they are really directly related to the deterioration of the cartilage between the joints, which is natural for middle-aged and older people. If we talk about diseases of an inflammatory nature, which include reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis, then such diseases can happen at any age, including children. Recently, there has been a rejuvenation of arthritis, it is no longer surprising to meet it in twenty-year-olds.
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system mainly overtake men. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite. Rheumatic diseases are more common in women. This is due to the protective mechanisms that have developed in women over the course of evolution and which can provoke acute immune reactions in response to various inflammatory processes in the body. The situation becomes especially critical after the onset of menopause. During this period, the natural hormonal barrier is weakened. But men also have their own weakness, it is they who are more likely to suffer from reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, which affects the ligaments of the spine.
Injuries later cause joint disease. Of course, it cannot be denied that injuries negatively affect the joints, provoking arthrosis. Such a picture is observed in athletes, they are constantly under stress, while the cartilage, which is located on the surface of the joints, wears out, cracks, becomes thinner. The situation is similar in people and overweight. But reactive arthritis occurs as a result of contracting an infection. The main pathogen is chlamydia, an intracellular parasite that affects the genitourinary system and tissues, including articular ones. It is not difficult to pick up chlamydia, but the treatment is complicated. Most often, the virus enters a person through sexual contact, but other routes are also possible, for example, through the use of common hygiene items - a towel, a washcloth. Another common disease is post-enterocolitic arthritis, which are directly related to certain intestinal infectious diseases. It is possible that knee pain may be related to a recent intestinal disorder. So for a rheumatologist, any such information is important, as it will allow you to correctly diagnose the cause of the disease and select the appropriate treatment methods.
Sore joints will certainly hurt. Also, the affected joints may still click and crunch, which indicates that bony processes have formed. They, like thorns, overgrow the articular surfaces, which are devoid of natural shock absorption. When these growths cling to each other, then an unpleasant creak is heard. But often people do not pay attention to these first signals, and arthrosis continues its destructive activity. But pain for the time being may not arise. But arthritis is reported by sharp and severe pain, swelling, reddening of the skin around the inflamed joint, an increase in temperature in humans. If you start arthritis, which is of infectious origin, then it can turn into a chronic form, then it is already more difficult to treat and diagnose it. At the same time, a person may not be aware that he is seriously ill. In this case, a small push is enough - overwork, hypothermia or even stress, and the person goes to the doctors. Rheumatologists recommend continuing the treatment to the end, even if at some intermediate stage there has been improvement.
It is impossible to predict and prevent the development of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. If a person listens to his body, then such problems can be avoided. If you suffer from pain, then you need to study their nature. When arthrosis occurs, the joints of the legs - ankle, knee and hip, which are constantly under maximum load, are under attack. Another sign of arthrosis is the mechanical rhythm of pain that is felt when moving. If rheumatoid arthritis begins, pain in the joints of the hands and feet is possible, and the pain is usually symmetrical. If reactive arthritis begins with an infectious origin, then the pain is already asymmetric - only one joint aches. In this case, the pain can be mixed sequentially from foot to foot, as if along the steps of a staircase. A thorough X-ray examination should be done to confirm arthritis. With ankylosing spondylitis and with reactive arthritis, the pelvis is examined. And with arthrosis - the hands and knees, but if there is suspicion of rheumatoid arthritis, then the feet and hands are under observation.
Diseases of the joints are, in fact, a sentence, you cannot fight them. If you severely start arthrosis or arthritis, then they will not be completely cured. But competent and constant treatment can significantly slow down their further development. For this, anti-inflammatory drugs are used, agents that enhance the regeneration of cartilage, affecting the immune system. If arthritis is of infectious origin, then you can generally be cured completely. Of course, the main condition is to start treatment as early as possible, then with the help of antibiotics and drugs acting on the immune system, it will be possible to defeat the disease.
Diet will help to overcome this ailment. Doctors do not know any special diet for joint disease. An exception may be, perhaps, gout, when it is necessary to limit the consumption of alcohol and a number of foods. But what will be really useful to use every day is meat and chicken cartilage rich in chondoprotectors. These substances improve the structure of the affected cartilage in the joints. Fish contains a lot of substances useful for joints, it is not surprising that in countries where the national cuisine is based on seafood, the level of arthrosis is noticeably lower.
After the detection of diseases of the joints, it will no longer be possible to do sports. For diseased joints, simple is harmful as well as for healthy ones. Doctors recommend cycling, skiing, swimming - these activities will strengthen the muscle frame of the body, improve the metabolism in it. Of course. There are a number of activities that should be avoided - squats, lifting weights, jumping, running.