Oleksenko Igor Nikolaevich, Honored Doctor of Ukraine, Candidate of Medical Sciences,
Deputy Chairman of the Medical Commission of the NOC of Ukraine
Traditionally, elderly people complain about joint pain during movements. But this problem can befall the younger generation too. So what should we start treatment with?
Joint pain is not a sign of some disease, but the result of a person performing incorrect movements in joints in which certain adaptive changes occur (in the joint itself, as well as in the joint tissues). Therefore, therapy must include adjustments to movements with subsequent training in proper movement, except for ointments and massages.
If something goes wrong
Likelihood of changes in joints, in which the articular cartilage “wears out,” increases with age. And when it is only 40, or even 30 years old, the diagnosis of “osteoarthritis” becomes a shocking unpleasant surprise. Usually, talking about the reasons for the early start of pathological changes, they complain about excessive loads, improper nutrition and being overweight, etc. However, the portrait of the sufferer may be completely different: moderately active, slender, that's just what the spine, leg or shoulder suddenly starts to hurt ... But the thing is, the basis of early osteoarthritis is often biomechanics of movement in joints. And the origin of problems can be hidden even at that age when the baby just gets on his feet or some minor injury for the treatment of which the person did not pay attention.
Science of imitation
Of course, a textbook titled “How to Teach a Child to Walk Right” does not exist. But even if it had, a young researcher that only took the first steps, would not listen to lectures on the functioning of the motor apparatus. But looking at others and subconsciously copying their movements is easy! That is how training takes place.
Vivid evidence of this is the story of Mowgli children. Surviving in the wild, they adopt motor functions in animals that were around, and move on four limbs. Upon returning to human society, upright posture for such poor fellows becomes an overly complex, and sometimes overwhelming task.
At the same time, an ordinary child takes a sample of his loved ones. Therefore, if, for example, mother is used to running fast, shrinking from tension, or dad: shuffling slowly, then certain motor habits can be followed by their child. And the answer to the question why flat feet or stoop in the back of father or mother and, as a result, child is very simple: the child adopted the parental style of movement. In addition, everyday behavior also plays a role. Therefore, you need to constantly monitor the child’s posture and gait and do not forget about visits to a specialist in the correct biomechanics of movements. Otherwise, with improper movement, some menisci will wear out more, others less, uneven capsule joints ... In short, the whole system will work with skew and overload.
OH, IT HURTS!
Very often people ask the question: “So far it has not hurt. What’s happened? ". The human body is a very complex system that is configured for a comfortable life. Pain for the brain is an irritant. Brain blocks pain so as not to irritate a person, increasing the pain threshold. Changes in joints continue, but you do not feel pain. And when the possibilities of pain relief are consumed by the body itself, the person starts to feel it. Obviously, adults who have experienced osteoarthritis do not come to the doctor for a retrospective analysis of errors, but for the sake of salvation, primarily from pain.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?
Sometimes you can also hear the recommendation: "Limit movements in the joint!" In particular, this approach remains popular in post-Soviet countries. But Western doctors take it, mildly speaking, with surprise. After all, a specialist's task is to find out the cause of pain and prescribe the motor mode in which the joint performs its natural function, that is, moving.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that have an analgesic effect due to the active substances, also increase the pain threshold, but do not restore the correct movement. So, pain and inflammation can be minimized. But the joint, in case of improper "exploitation", will continue to deform.
It is impossible to consider hormonal drugs as the only possible therapeutic method, since they are not able to neutralize the cause of osteoarthritis.
Responsible for saving
In order to suspend this process, you need to literally learn how to walk again. But a textbook that would give everyone universal recommendations on how to do this also does not exist. The recovery program must be developed together with a specialist who will take into account individual characteristics and will advise a set of recovery measures and related exercises. Our faithful assistants, muscles will help with recovering. They completely control all movements in joints, just as a lever: they only need to be taught to do it correctly.
The more intense person moves, the earlier symptoms of osteoarthritis may appear. And this is good in its own way! Having learned about the problem at the initial stage through pain, a person has time to correct movements and provide the joints with the correct load. But for a passive lifestyle, tissue degeneration can have an inconspicuous progress until the moment when there is no other choice than installing a prosthesis instead of your own joint.
Both men and women face osteoarthrosis. Moreover, the representatives of the fair sex often have pain in the shoulders and neck, because of walking in heels or possible changes in posture during pregnancy.