Our life goes on in constant motion, and even in a dream we move - we move from side to side. As a rule, it would not occur to a normal person to think about how his bones, ligaments, muscles and joints function - what is called a “musculoskeletal system”.
But, as soon as somewhere shoots, or becomes sick, or swells, then we involuntarily think about the fact that we should go to the clinic for examination. Yes, and a sedentary lifestyle in the style of "work-car-home-elevator-sofa" will not bring to good, and it's time to go in for sports.
However, as soon as the pain subsides, good intentions are shifted to the periphery of consciousness.
But there are no accidental back pains after sleep, backache in the neck or lower back - these are already symptoms of the disease, and it is good if it is in the initial stage ...
Our expert is Dmitry Shestakov, orthopedic traumatologist, candidate of medical sciences, head of the inter-district clinical diagnostic department, member of the Russian Arthroscopic Society.
The most common diseases of the musculoskeletal system are arthrosis, degenerative changes in the joints. Simply put, this is a worn joint. Even simpler is their aging. At the same time, the patient himself may be young, simply due to some life circumstances, his joints prematurely aged.
These circumstances can be quite a lot - serious overload associated with work, playing sports, or metabolic disturbances, or malfunctions in the immune system, some concomitant diseases, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes.
Being overweight dramatically increases your risk of developing arthrosis. At the same time, the supporting joints most often suffer: knee and hip joints, as they experience constant overload. For example, damage to the knee joints in obese people occurs on average 4 times more often than those whose weight is normal.
In general, as a rule, the joints that are under stress suffer, those that the person relies on when walking, primarily knee joints, secondly hip joints, then ankle joints and foot joints.
In addition, arthrosis is secondary, for example, post-traumatic: a person suffers an injury, he has an intra-articular fracture, and in the future, because this joint has been seriously affected, its blood supply, metabolic processes are disrupted, and it wears out very quickly.
A significant role in joint damage is played by a hereditary predisposition.
Osteoarthritis often affects the joints of the hand. This is due to the nature of the work - if for a long time you have to make uniform movements with your hands. Temperature factors are especially detrimental to the joints of the hands: daily washing in cold or hot water or washing dishes on an industrial scale by hand - damage to the wrist joints is often found in workers of school and hospital canteens.
“Joint diseases” occupy first place in the world among diseases of internal organs, which in an advanced stage can lead not only to temporary disability, but even to disability! Therefore, one must not underestimate their seriousness.
There are factors that we cannot influence, for example, hereditary predisposition. Or gender: it is no secret that women suffer from arthrosis on average 2 times more often than men. There are circumstances that are also not always in our power, for example, in people engaged in peasant labor, joints, as a rule, are strongly deformed and wear out, wear out much faster than they age.
Injuries are also significant risk factors.
If the profession is associated with the fact that a person stands on his feet 10-12 hours a day, then it is clear that after a certain time his joints will be very worn out. True, doctors have a catch phrase: "Every person survives to his arthrosis." And it would be surprising for a 70-year-old person to find the joints of an 18-year-old.
But we can very well influence our lifestyle.
What to do?
• It is necessary to observe a certain regime - a balance of loads and rest.
• Do physical education. If sport is harmful, then physical education is not only useful, but also necessary. But to begin training, especially if there are changes in the musculoskeletal system, it is necessary under the guidance of a specialist in exercise therapy.
• Of the sports, swimming and an exercise bike are preferable, but they should also be selected individually - depending on the condition of the joints.
• At the age of 40–45 years, it is useful for people at risk to use special drugs - chondroprotectors as prophylaxis. Depending on the drug, the doctor will prescribe a certain course of administration or injection - once every six months or a year.
• Listen to your body's signals: pain and discomfort are alarming signs, when you see which you should consult an orthopedist.
• If there are ambiguities with the diagnosis, an x-ray should be taken: a standard radiograph of the knee, hip joint allows you to almost completely understand what is happening in the joint.
• Do not start the disease and at the first symptoms you should consult a doctor. Gentle treatment methods - massage and manual therapy - will restore freedom of movement and improve the quality of life.
This method is used only without exacerbation - when the joint is “calm”. You can massage with your hands, but you can use various devices - massagers.
It is not the joint itself that needs to be massaged, but the surrounding tissues. And self-massage sessions should not be carried out immediately before or after a meal - the distance between the meal and the procedure should be at least 1.5 hours. The temperature in the room should be comfortable, and the position of the body - the most convenient for you. In this case, the muscles in the area of the body that you are massaging should be relaxed as much as possible. In order to better glide your hands on the surface of the body, you can use talcum powder, vegetable oils (olive, peach, cedar, etc.), creams or special ointments that your doctor will recommend.
If you used warming ointments for massage, after the procedure, you can apply a dry bandage or compress to this area. Remember that massage is contraindicated in acute, febrile conditions, exacerbations of inflammatory processes, rashes and other skin lesions!
You can relieve an attack of pain by applying heat or cold (the reaction to the temperature effect is individual). Place broken ice or frozen peas in a heating pad or wrap in dense tissue and apply to a sore joint for 10 minutes (no more!) Every hour. You can warm a sore spot with a hot water heater or a special lamp.
You can also use devices with magnetic properties (knee pads, belts, etc.). But be sure to discuss the technology and details of all these procedures with your doctor!
Osteoporosis - a disease of “fragile bones” - is one of the most formidable and common diseases in the world. He is called the “silent killer”, because in the initial stage this disease is asymptomatic, gradually undermining the basis of a person’s foundations - his skeleton.
According to WHO, osteoporosis ranks fourth after cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the list of the most serious and dangerous diseases - the “main enemies of mankind”.
Moreover, in recent decades, the incidence of osteoporosis has clearly increased, and this problem has already moved from the medical category to the social one.
Osteoporosis is a progressive disease of bone tissue in which the bones lose calcium, and with it the strength. It is known that bone density changes throughout life: up to 25 years, the human skeleton reaches its maximum strength due to calcium and remains so until about 40 years. Then begins the process of reducing bone density, which at first proceeds almost imperceptibly.
But this process can be accelerated for many reasons: it is a hereditary predisposition, diseases of the endocrine system, taking certain drugs, etc. As a result, the bone loses calcium, becomes thinner and becomes brittle. If you look at such a bone in a microscope, it will seem that many holes have formed in it - pores. Hence the name of the disease - osteoporosis, translated from Greek - “porous bone”.
With the onset of menopause (especially in the first 3 years, when the estrogen level in a woman’s body decreases sharply), bone destruction is enhanced. At this time, about 1 kilogram of bone mass is lost each year (on average, the skeleton of an adult weighs 20–25 kg). Then this process slows down a little, but the losses still remain significant.
That's why the most typical manifestations of osteoporosis are less traumatic fractures that occur when falling from a height of their own growth. And the most common and serious complications of osteoporosis are fractures of the spine, femoral neck and radius.
And older people are at greatest risk, as age exacerbates the course of the disease and the bones become more and more fragile. In such a situation, some fractures, such as the femoral neck, cause disability and even death.
Symptoms of a "silent" disease
Osteoporosis is often diagnosed only after a fracture of the spine or femoral neck. But, as a rule, such serious complications of the disease are preceded by some signs that appear for a long time at first weakly, then more and more definitely.
Typical signs of osteoporosis include aching back pain. Moreover, if with osteochondrosis, back pain usually occurs at night and is felt when a person just gets out of bed, then after he stretches, he will remember, the pain goes away. But with osteoporosis, a different situation: the back begins to ache at a load, even very insignificant. Usually, it is a dull pain, mainly between the shoulder blades or in the lumbar region. And after a 20-30 minute rest in a horizontal position, the pain disappears.
Indirect signs of osteoporosis include senile stoop (the so-called "widow's hump"), decreased growth and night leg cramps.
At risk are our parents!
If the first signs of the development of the disease appear, this is already a serious reason for contacting a doctor - an endocrinologist, rheumatologist or orthopedist.
Brushing off unpleasant symptoms, fleeing home remedies, rubbing and painkillers, is not only naive, but also dangerous. The sooner treatment is started, the more likely it is to avoid dangerous complications.
And our mothers and grandmothers - the main risk group - need to be examined without waiting for fractures!
And in order to reduce the risk of bone fractures at home (and this, unfortunately, is a very common occurrence in older people), a number of fairly simple rules should be observed:
• Care should be taken to avoid tilting. Use brushes and mops with long handles and nozzles for home cleaning.
• Shoes should be worn while sitting on a chair with your foot on a low stand. The shoe horn should be with a long handle.
• When lifting objects to a small height - below the shoulders - try to keep your back straight while maintaining the curves of the spine. For example, it is better to bend the legs at the knees than to bend over, bending at the waist.
• And lifting something to a height above the shoulders, it is better to slightly bend the back in the lumbar region.
• Avoid turning the body sideways while carrying heavy loads.
• Equip the bathtub or shower with rubber mats to prevent slipping during water procedures, as well as handles attached to the bathroom wall. Fractures from a fall in the bathroom are a very common type of home injury that occurs in older people.
Symptoms of Arthrosis
The first characteristic signs of arthrosis are the appearance of uncomfortable sensations during exertion. If a person spent all day on his feet or dragged heaviness and by the end of the day he has unpleasant, even pain in his joints, which disappear at rest, this is an alarming sign. The further the development of arthrosis, the more often such sensations arise even from small loads. And with significant damage to the joints, pain can occur at rest. But this is already a sign of very serious changes, in such cases endoprosthetics are required (a surgical operation during which the destroyed parts of the joint are replaced with artificial ones - endoprostheses).
To determine the condition of the cartilage, it is sometimes enough to put your hand on your knee and hear the joint crackle (a sound reminiscent of a crunch of snow under your feet on a frosty day). The joint may not hurt, but shifts towards arthrosis have already been outlined. And at this stage the treatment is the most effective - the cartilage is still easy to strengthen and restore. But the destroyed cartilage is almost impossible to restore.
Other signs of arthrosis
• Morning stiffness of the joint. It can last 20-30 minutes and, after a person moves, hesitates, disappears
• “Jamming” of the joint - a sudden sharp pain that blocks movement. It also disappears suddenly. This symptom is also characteristic of a meniscus rupture.
• Swelling in the joint area, which may be accompanied by a feeling of "hot" skin, increased pain and stiffness.