What is osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a pathology that appears in a joint due to the destruction of the cartilage tissue that covers the bone heads 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 aggravate the development of the disease with improperly taken measures.

Causes of osteoarthritis

playing sports with osteoarthritis

Basically, the causes of osteoarthritis of the joints are associated with the aging of cartilage cells, so osteoarthritis in most cases is diagnosed in the elderly. Excessive stress also leads to premature aging of the joint. At risk are also athletes and people who are constantly involved in heavy physical work.

In addition, the causes that led to osteoarthritis are often associated with insufficient nutrition of the joint or slowed metabolism in it. This may be the result of damage to the joints or impaired blood supply to the periarticular tissues.

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

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

Excess weight can also be to blame for the development of the disease, as the more body weight, the greater the constant load on the joints.

Studies have also shown that one genetic factor is sufficient for the onset of osteoarthritis. Thus, for example, osteoarthritis of the interphalangeal joints of the hands in women occurs 10 times more often.


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

Osteoarthritis pain syndrome in most cases appears at the time of load on the joints, and at rest, the discomfort disappears. Also, the pain may appear with sudden movements or turns, while it is short-lived and reappears only with the other awkward movement. These signs of osteoarthritis are reason enough to see a doctor right away.

In the advanced stages, the pain syndrome can become permanent. Also, over time, symptoms such as cracking in the joints and a feeling of muscle tension around the joint may appear. Skin rashes in the joint area characterize psoriatic osteoarthritis.

Types of osteoarthritis

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

feet affected by osteoarthritis
  • hip joint;
  • knee joints;
  • hands;
  • spine;
  • stop.

Psoriatic osteoarthritis mostly affects the knee joints and wrist joints.

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

If the pathology has affected 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 an accurate diagnosis, let alone prescribe adequate treatment yourself. The most likely way would be to see a doctor. Modern diagnostic methods allow the specialist to apply the most optimal direction of treatment.

The main types of diagnosis

  1. X-rays: the picture shows the degree of deformation of the wrist;
  2. laboratory tests: confirmation of the presence of a pathological process in the joints will be an increase in ESR in the blood;
  3. synovial fluid analysis and histological examination of the synovium: allows the physician to determine the presence of pathological formations in the joints.

The doctor should also examine and palpate the affected wrist. So a visual examination will reveal signs of psoriatic osteoarthritis. Only an integrated approach to the study of test results can give a realistic picture of the disease and confirm the diagnosis.

Onset and course of the disease

The onset of osteoarthritis, as a rule, goes unnoticed for the patient, the pain in the early stages of the disease is barely perceptible and does not bring any significant discomfort. The first thing patients usually feel is a feeling of discomfort after a long stay at rest, for example, short-term stiffness of the joints in the morning. Over time, the link between physical activity and joint pain begins to be traced. Mild pain with exertion begins to intensify. In the later stages, the pain can be distressing even during periods of rest, at night. Pain sensations in osteoarthritis vary in their frequency, intensifying during periods of deterioration, they may not appear at all during periods of remission.

For the most part, patients go to the doctor when they already have a very pronounced pain syndrome and limited movement, which makes a normal life impossible. The advanced stage of osteoarthritis is also indicated by symptoms such as lameness and subluxation of the joints, the appearance of which is accompanied by the presence of large deformations in the joint and deterioration of cartilage tissue.


swimming with osteoarthritis

The earlier therapy is started, the greater the chances that the node will begin to function fully, 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 durability. The physician must consider many different factors: the stage of the disease, the specifics of the clinical picture, the causes of its occurrence, and the extent to which the function of the musculoskeletal system is impaired. If acute osteoarthritis is diagnosed, then treatment begins with the appointment of pain relieving medications.

The treatment takes place in three stages:

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

In each case, an individual approach is required. Medications affect every organism with varying degrees of effectiveness, in addition, tolerance and side effects of such drugs must be considered. In many cases, the disease develops against the background of an infection already present in the body. So in the case of psoriatic osteoarthritis measures are taken to eliminate psoriasis.