What is osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a pathology that occurs in the joint due to the destruction of the cartilage tissue that covers the heads of the bones that enter the joint. Osteoarthritis can develop in the joints of the limbs and spine, especially often the disease affects the knee joint (gonarthrosis) and the hip joint (coxarthrosis).

It is also important to understand what osteoarthritis is, so as not to worsen the development of the disease with improper measures.

Causes of osteoarthritis

sports with osteoarthritis

In general, the causes of osteoarthritis of the joints are related to the aging of cartilage cells, which is why osteoarthritis is mostly diagnosed in the elderly. Excessive stress also leads to premature aging of the joint. Athletes and people who are constantly engaged in hard physical labor are also at risk.

In addition, the causes of osteoarthritis are often related to malnutrition or slow metabolism in the joint. This may be the result of joint injury or impaired blood supply to the periarticular tissues.

The destruction of cartilage tissue can also provoke a disease such as psoriasis, in which case doctors observe a specific form of psoriatic osteoarthritis: the skin of the diseased joint is covered with psoriatic plaques, the skin becomes grayish.

Prolonged inflammation (arthritis of the joint) can cause osteoarthritis of the joints; Prolonged inflammatory process in the joint without proper treatment threatens a complex form of deforming osteoarthritis.

Being overweight can also be a culprit for the development of the disease, because the more body weight, the greater the constant load on the joints.

Studies also show that a genetic factor is enough to cause osteoarthritis. Thus, for example, the disease of osteoarthritis of the interphalangeal joints of the hands in women is 10 times more common.


Common symptoms that indicate the appearance of osteoarthritis of the joints are pain syndrome and stiffness of movements.

The pain syndrome with osteoarthritis in most cases occurs during the load on the joint, and at rest the discomfort disappears. Also, the pain may occur with sudden movements or turns, while it is short-lived and reappears only with the next awkward movement. These signs of osteoarthritis are reason enough to see a doctor immediately.

In advanced stages, the pain syndrome may become permanent. Symptoms such as crunching in the joints and a feeling of muscle tension around the joint may also occur over time. Skin rashes in the joints are characterized by psoriatic osteoarthritis.

Types of osteoarthritis

Depending on which part of the body is affected, osteoarthritis is:

legs affected by osteoarthritis
  • hip joint;
  • knee joints;
  • hands;
  • spine;
  • Stop yourself.

Psoriatic osteoarthritis mainly affects the knee joints and the joints of the hands.

There are four stages of osteoarthritis, the fourth stage is also called deforming osteoarthritis, when the pathological changes in the joint become irreversible, the joint itself is practically destroyed and ceases to perform its functions.

If the pathology affects several joints at the same time, polyarthritis is diagnosed.

Psoriatic osteoarthritis is diagnosed when the usual symptoms of osteoarthritis are complemented by specific skin rashes.


It is almost impossible to make the correct diagnosis and even more so to prescribe adequate treatment on your own. The most likely way is to go to the doctor. Modern diagnostic methods allow the specialist to apply the most optimal direction of treatment.

The main types of diagnostics

  1. X-ray: the photo shows the degree of deformation of the joint;
  2. laboratory tests: confirmation of the presence of a pathological process in the joint will be increased ESR in the blood;
  3. synovial fluid analysis and histological examination of the synovium: allows the doctor to determine the presence of pathological formations in the joint.

In addition, the doctor should examine and palpate the affected joint. So a visual examination will reveal signs of psoriatic osteoarthritis. Only an integrated approach to the examination of test results can give a real picture of the disease and confirm the diagnosis.

Onset and course of the disease

The onset of osteoarthritis, as a rule, goes unnoticed by the patient, the pain in the early stages of the disease is barely noticeable and does not cause significant concern. The first thing patients usually experience is a feeling of discomfort after a long stay at rest, such as short-term stiffness in the joints in the morning. Over time, the link between physical activity and joint pain began to be traced. The mild pain on exertion begins to intensify. In the following stages, the pain can be anxious during periods of rest at night. The sensations of pain in osteoarthritis vary in frequency, intensifying during periods of exacerbation, may not occur at all during periods of remission.

For the most part, patients go to the doctor when they already have a severe pain syndrome and limited movement, which makes it impossible to lead a normal life. The advanced stage of arthrosis is also indicated by symptoms such as lameness and subluxation of the joints, the occurrence of which is associated with the presence of large deformities in the joint and deterioration of cartilage tissue.


swimming with osteoarthritis

The earlier the therapy is started, the more chances there are for the joint to start functioning fully again, although modern medicine does not talk about the complete disappearance of the disease. The main factors in the treatment of osteoarthritis are its complexity and consistency. The doctor must take into account many different factors: the stage of the disease, the specifics of the clinical picture, the reasons for its occurrence and take into account how impaired the function of the musculoskeletal system. If acute osteoarthritis is diagnosed, then treatment begins with the appointment of drugs that relieve pain.

The treatment takes place in three stages:

  1. Relieve tension from the joint.
  2. Relieve synovitis.
  3. Rehabilitation and preventive measures aimed at slowing down the further development of the disease.

In each case, an individual approach is needed. Medicines affect each organism with varying degrees of effectiveness, and the tolerability and side effects of such medicines must be taken into account. In many cases, the disease develops against the background of an infection already present in the body. So in case of psoriatic osteoarthritis, measures are taken to eliminate psoriasis.