Numerous therapies for osteoarthritis
The website of the German Arthrosis Forum lists 229 therapies for arthrosis - but by no means all are medically recognized, helpful and useful. No matter which miracle therapies are touted, according to the current state of knowledge an arthrosis is not curable, because a damaged cartilage can not heal or regrow. It is very important for the affected patients, however, that the course of osteoarthritis can be slowed down, pain can sometimes be treated very well.
Physiotherapy, heat and cold applications, exercise and medications are among the non-surgical therapies and often bring relief. Most often, the doctor prescribes cortisone-free painkillers. According to the German Green Cross, more than 30 million people worldwide use these so-called "non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs" (NSAIDs) every day. They work well against inflammation and pain. But with prolonged use (and in sensitive patients), they sometimes lead to serious side effects.
Studies have shown that one out of every five patients suffering from cortisone-free anti-inflammatory drugs suffers from small ulcers or small superficial mucosal damage in the stomach and intestines. In the course of a long-term therapy, up to 20 percent of those affected develop ulcers on the stomach and duodenum. Often, therefore, the doctor administered so-called COX-2 inhibitors for pain relief.
A study (VIGOR study - Vioxx Gastrointestinal Outcomes Research), in which more than 8, 000 patients have participated, has shown that the incidence of serious complications by the drug rofecoxib, one of the new COX-2 inhibitors, compared to a conventional NSAID order more than half is lowered. Also, the risk of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract decreased significantly: It can be reduced by taking the new drug by 60 percent.
The information platform rheuma online reports on its web pages from a study of 73 patients suffering from symptomatic knee arthrosis. Some of the patients were treated in the traditional way, another group received acupuncture.
The evaluation of the treatment took place after four, eight and twelve weeks. This showed a clear advantage for the acupuncture group. Acupuncture patients had less pain after four and eight weeks than those treated by the usual procedure, and pain and stiffness were lower. Adverse effects of acupuncture were not observed.
The Ärzte-Zeitung reported on April 12, 2006: "Hyaluronic acid lubricates joints and reduces pain". Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural component of connective tissue. It continues in the article: "Data from 64 prospective controlled trials confirmed practical experience that hyaluronic acid therapy is clearly superior to placebo.
Hyaluronic acid improves the pain and joint functions as well as NSAID long-term therapy, with high-molecular weight hyaluron showing a significant effect, while low-molecular substance-identical preparations are essentially ineffective. "
In arthritic joints, the amount of hyaluronic acid is significantly lower than in healthy joints. There are preparations with hyaluronic acid that the doctor can inject directly into the interior of the joint. The hyaluronic acid-enriched synovial fluid can better compensate for unevenness in the cartilage surface and the joint glides easier again.