Arthritis and arthrosis what is the difference between treatment

Many people do not understand the difference between arthritis and arthrosis. Both of these diseases are heard and are associated with joint problems. However, the symptoms of the disease, and even more prevention and treatment in each case are individual.

Arthritis and arthrosis what is common

What is arthrosis and arthritis?

Arthrosis is a joint disease caused by problems in the cartilage. They begin to gradually disintegrate and break, leading to unbearable pain. It proceeds, both in acute and in prolonged form. Often manifests itself in the morning or after heavy physical exertion.

Arthritis of the joints is a condition of inflammation of the joints. It is mainly expressed in the form of swelling and redness. The inner shell of the joint is destroyed, due to this there are pains, which are often difficult to tolerate.

What is the difference between arthritis and arthrosis: common symptoms

Both ailments have a common root in their arthron names. If translated from Greek, you get a “joint”. Both diseases are associated with problems and pains in the joints. Such pathologies occur with acute negative feelings, discomfort. Lesions associated with the cartilage layer limit and impede movement.

Arthrosis and arthritis change the patient’s usual lifestyle. It becomes difficult to move around, pain appears, and the level of endurance decreases – these are the main signs. However, each of these diseases proceeds according to its own scenario.

It is important to make a correct diagnosis, then the treatment will be of high quality and expedited.

Symptoms of Arthritis

Arthritis is characterized by the following features:

  1. Fever is possible if the skin near the joint turns red.
  2. Change in the appearance of the joint.
  3. Tumor.
  4. Pain when moving.
  5. Unpleasant sensations when pressing a joint.
  6. Arthritis can be an infectious disease. Then all the symptoms corresponding to infections occur: a broken condition, fever, chills of the body.

Arthritis can affect a single joint or several. It proceeds with acute pain, or smoothly and causes a chronic disease. Then there is a dull aching pain.

Symptoms of Arthrosis

Arthrosis, for the most part, is a chronic disease. For a very long time, you may not understand that you have this ailment, since it manifests itself in the form of temporary aching pain. However, it can proceed both quickly and slowly. If arthrosis is not detected in time in the early stages, then this disease will lead to disability. Symptoms of arthrosis:

  1. Swelling in the periarticular joint. With arthrosis, a different situation occurs: the joint swells only in acute disease. The disease is accompanied by severe pain.
  2. Crunch and brittle joints. From the first minutes, the crunch does not particularly interfere with the owner, but if you do not take treatment, then it will be heard by others. The feeling of fragility often appears after taking a shower or swimming in cool water.
  3. Nagging pain. It is especially manifested with loads on a sore joint. For example, when climbing stairs.

Basically, arthrosis appears from severe exertion or injury. Aching pain may intensify by night and continue until morning.

Who deals with the treatment of pathology

Which doctor treats arthrosis and arthritis? As a rule, people go to the doctor after unbearable pain occurs. It is better not to pull up to a critical moment and make an appointment as soon as you feel discomfort in the joints.

First of all, you need to go to the local doctor – therapist. He will schedule additional tests or special procedures. After the examination, he will make a preliminary diagnosis and refer you to the necessary doctor. There are two options.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Orthopedic Traumatologist

The therapist sends to this doctor with a more severe form of arthrosis or arthritis. In most cases, he is involved in surgical intervention with subsequent recovery procedures.

The traumatologist examines your problem, finds out about complaints, examines the joint, then decides on the necessary treatment.

Most often this is an operation. Orthopedic function is associated with the recovery phase. It is necessary to wear special shoes or other clothes that will facilitate movement. It is better to follow this point to speed up the recovery process.


If you are faced with the problem of arthrosis or arthritis for the first time, the physician will prescribe you a referral to a rheumatologist. He examines your joint, directs for additional tests (if necessary) and makes an accurate diagnosis.

Most often, the doctor prescribes treatment at home. Therapy should help stabilize the condition of the joint. The main task here is to prevent the disease from developing and lead to serious consequences.

Both doctors are called upon to identify and suggest treatment options. However, a rheumatologist works with the lighter, initial stages of the disease. Orthopedic traumatologist, on the contrary, with severe, complex cases.

Treatments for arthrosis and arthritis

There are two methods of treating these diseases:

Initially, you need to consult with doctors, and only then take pills. If you choose the medicine yourself, you can only make your body worse.

Treatment with folk remedies includes: compresses, herbal infusions, ointments. A few examples of how to help with arthritis and arthrosis using folk recipes:

  1. Grate half a glass of sea buckthorn. Rub the resulting gruel with massage movements into the aching joint. Cover with gauze and leave for several hours. It is advisable to repeat daily for two weeks.
  2. For acute pain, rub the joint with the usual “star” balm. Leave for a few hours. The pain will begin to subside.
  3. For aching or severe pain it is necessary to make a warm compress. To do this, moisten the bandage or gauze with warm water, put on the joint. Next, wrap cotton wool and polyethylene on top to get a peculiar effect of the bath. Keep it for 20 minutes.

It should be understood that folk remedies can only relieve pain and prevent it for some time. In order to cure the disease, you must consult a specialist, a doctor.

What is worse: arthritis of the joint or arthrosis?

Naturally, both of these diseases are quite serious and it is difficult to say which one is worse. However, you can consider an example with a problem in the knee joint. With arthritis, that is, with inflammatory processes, the patient can be helped.

Most often, this occurs due to other infections that occur in the human body. If they are cured and the inflammatory process of the joint is removed, then knee arthritis will no longer bother.

Arthrosis is a completely different story. This is an independent disease caused by problems in the cartilage. Often, surgical intervention is indispensable. After this follows a long recovery process.

Therefore, we can say that arthrosis is a more serious disease. However, arthritis can cause the first illness. Do not neglect both ailments. It is better to immediately contact a specialist.

We hope that we have fully solved the question of how arthritis differs from arthrosis. If this article was useful to you, share it with your friends by clicking on the social media icon.

Arthritis and arthrosis: what is the difference?

Arthritis and arthrosis are the names of two different joint diseases. They differ among themselves in the causes of development, the characteristics of the pathological changes occurring in the joints, the symptoms and treatment.


Arthritis is an inflammation of one or more joints, which is most often a manifestation of more extensive and serious pathological changes in the body, for example, autoimmune or infectious processes or metabolic disorders. More rarely, arthritis occurs due to injuries, in such cases it is the injured joint that inflames, while others remain intact.

Diseases accompanied by the development of arthritis:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Rheumatism.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Gout.
  • Still’s disease.
  • Psoriasis.
  • Hemochromatosis.
  • Purpura.

In addition, reactive arthritis arising as a complication of infectious diseases: intestinal infections, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, mycoplasmosis, flu and other viral infections is allocated into a separate group.

Inflammatory changes in arthritis primarily affect the synovial membrane (synovitis develops) and synovial fluid. The amount of the latter increases, which explains the swelling of the inflamed joints. The cartilaginous tissue lining the articular surfaces of the bones also suffers – erosive defects that expose the bone gradually form on it.


Arthrosis is a non-inflammatory disease, pathological changes in the joint with it are caused by dystrophy of the cartilage covering the articular surfaces of the bones. Although often it is a long inflammatory process that contributes to thinning and damage to cartilage.

Arthrosis develops mainly in older people, which is associated with age-related wear of cartilage and osteoporosis, which affects negatively the condition of the entire musculoskeletal system. However, the disease can also occur at a young age, for example, in athletes, in workers in professions related to the impact on the joints of excessive loads, in people who are obese.

All manifestations of arthrosis, which concern patients, develop due to thinning and dystrophic changes in the cartilage, their inability to fully perform the depreciation function, exposing and rubbing together the bones that form the joint, overgrowth of bone tissue (such growths are called osteophytes), and a decrease in the amount of synovial fluid, which should wash the articular surfaces.


Arthritis and arthrosis can develop in any joint, but in most cases there is a certain pattern in the localization of the pathological process in each of these diseases:

  • Osteoarthritis most often affects large joints of the legs (hip, knee, ankle), less commonly the joints at the base of the big toes of the feet and the distal joints of the fingers. In addition, arthrosis can also develop in the intervertebral joints. All of these joints throughout life feel the greatest load, which explains the frequent occurrence of destructive processes in them.
  • Arthritis, on the contrary, is characterized by the “volatility” of joint damage. Today the wrist joint is inflamed, tomorrow the knee, etc. In addition, several asymmetric joints can become inflamed at once, which is not typical for arthrosis.

In addition to the features of the localization of the pathological process, arthrosis and arthritis have serious differences in symptoms:

  • Arthritis is characterized by joint pains that occur mainly at rest and at night. In the morning, such patients, as a rule, feel pronounced stiffness in their arms and legs. After developing affected joints, pain and stiffness are reduced. With arthrosis, pain, on the contrary, intensifies with movements, and after rest, it almost completely disappears.
  • The appearance of diseased joints is also different. With arthritis, they increase in size (swell), redden, become hot to the touch. With arthrosis in the initial stages of the development of the disease, the affected joint looks completely normal, subsequently its deformation is possible due to the growth of osteophytes and the modification of the bones that articulate in the joint. Another feature of arthrosis is a crunch in the affected joint, with arthritis it is not observed.

It is also worth noting that with arthritis, patients note a significant deterioration in well-being, weight loss, a periodic increase in body temperature and the appearance of other symptoms of the underlying disease. Patients with arthrosis are only worried about a poorly functioning and very painful joint.


To make an accurate diagnosis (arthrosis or arthritis in a patient) and prescribe the correct treatment, doctors send the patient for examination, which usually includes:

  • General analysis of blood and urine.
  • Blood chemistry.
  • Rheumatic tests.
  • X-ray of the affected joint.
  • In controversial cases, MRI and synovial fluid examination.


Since arthrosis and arthritis have different causes and development mechanisms, the approach to their treatment is radically different.

With arthritis, it is important for doctors to identify the cause of joint inflammation and, if possible, eliminate it. All medical measures are directed to this. So, with arthritis of an infectious nature, patients are prescribed antibiotics. If joint inflammation is caused by an autoimmune process, hormones and cytostatics. With gout, specific drugs are used that affect the formation of uric acid, etc.

With arthrosis, the main goals of treatment are to restore cartilage and restore mobility to the joint. Therefore, patients are prescribed chondroprotectors, hyaluronic acid, sessions of physiotherapy and manual therapy, physical therapy courses.

For anesthesia in both arthrosis and arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used inside and out (in the form of ointments). With joint inflammation, these drugs not only anesthetize well, but also help to reduce signs of inflammation (swelling, stiffness, redness, etc.).

Both with arthrosis and arthritis, both conservative therapy and surgical treatment (minimally invasive surgery, joint prosthetics) can be carried out – it all depends on the degree of impaired function of the affected joint and the financial capabilities of the patient.

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Gout is arthritis or arthrosis: differences and similarities.

How gout is clinically manifested: is it arthritis or arthrosis, why they are compared, what do they have in common and how does gouty arthritis differ from other joint diseases. After reading this article, you can find the answers to these questions and understand the terminology to finally understand in what cases a particular diagnosis is made, and how everything is determined from a medical point of view.

What unites these diseases

To understand, gout is arthritis or arthrosis, how rheumatoid arthritis differs from gout, or what gout and rheumatism have in common, first you need to understand how the recognition, definition of the disease occurs, as evidenced by the medical diagnosis.

In order to systematize the data, the World Health Organization has developed a system for classifying diseases and health problems. For convenience and standardization of the diagnosis, an alphanumeric encoding is introduced. This classification (reference) allows you to establish certain requirements for the provision of medical care in relation to a specific group of diseases (treatment regimen, duration of therapy), analyze the level of mortality, severity and susceptibility to treatment, and calculate the prevalence (frequency of occurrence).

According to the adopted structure of the ICD-10, all painful conditions are grouped by unifying signs, in particular by anatomical localization. In accordance with the principles of classification, the listed diseases are assigned to the XIII class and are located under the Latin letter M. This group covers diseases that affect the bones, muscle system, joint-ligamentous apparatus, and connective tissue. Depending on the origin of the pathology, its signs and development mechanism, the class is divided into blocks, including diseases that have common characteristics.

  1. Arthropathies are joint lesions of a non-rheumatic origin. Usually they arise against a background of a different pathology, and the symptoms of arthropathy directly depend on the type of this underlying disease. Within this block, infectious diseases (tuberculous arthritis, arthritis with rubella or mycosis, dysentery, purulent / pyogenic arthritis, etc.), inflammatory with damage to many joints (rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile, gout), degenerative-dystrophic in nature ( various types of arthrosis).
  2. Diseases of the soft periarticular tissues are extra-articular diseases. This subgroup also includes extra-articular rheumatism, rheumatism of the skin, subcutaneous tissue.
  3. Diffuse diseases of the connective tissue are diseases that stimulate systemic disorders and inflammation. Various organs and systems of the body are affected. These are: rheumatic polymyalgia, eosinophilic fasciitis, lupus erythematosus, arthropathy with hemophilia or neoplasms.
  4. Dorsopathies are diseases affecting the structures of the spine and surrounding tissues (scoliosis, osteochondrosis, torticollis, ankylosing spondylitis).
  5. Varieties of chondropathy and conditions in which the processes of formation, growth, functioning or restoration of bone tissue (osteoporosis, osteomyelitis, pathological fractures, poor fusion) are disturbed.

All of these diseases have one thing in common – the presence of problems with the musculoskeletal system. Often they have the same symptoms: the absence of external manifestations at first, pain of varying intensity and localization, a change in the shape of the joint, stiffness, stiffness, limitation of walking distance.

These signs of similarity serve as the basis for combining together, but it is impossible to say, for example, that arthrosis, rheumatism and gout are the same thing. No wonder these forms of the disease are indicated by various medical terms, because each is characterized by a number of inherent properties and the presence of disconnecting signs.

Distinctive features of gout

According to statistics, the most common forms of joint damage are arthritis and arthrosis, gout is detected much less frequently. Finding the difference between arthritis and gout can be problematic, often they have the same symptoms and scenario.

    hyperemia of the skin over the affected area, accompanied by redness, sensations of heat at the local level; swelling of the foot; pain on palpation; impaired limb function, temporary blockage of the joint.

Arthrosis is not an inflammatory process. These are degenerative-dystrophic changes in the affected joint, the cause of which is the destruction of the cartilage that covers the articular ends of the bones. Arthrosis is always associated with bone deformation, because its second name is deforming osteoarthrosis. When wondering how to distinguish arthrosis from other diseases by external signs, you should pay attention to the difference in the type of pain.

Unlike gouty arthritis, pain with arthrosis is mechanical in nature, at the initial stage it occurs only periodically, in the evening after a hard day or at night, often due to physical overload. During the night or after a long rest, the pain decreases or disappears. In the case of gout, it is always an unbearable, suddenly appearing shooting pain, usually overtakes during sleep. A gouty attack can last from several hours to a week, and after several months the attack is repeated.

The saying that gout and arthritis are one and the same can only be true for this type of disease. This postulate is simply explained: recurrent acute arthritis is a clinical manifestation of gout. He is considered one of the stages of the course of the disease and the first external sign. The difference between gout and arthritis and rheumatism is that the name gout is usually applicable to the monoarticular (mono-articular) and unilateral process, and only the joints of the toes are affected.

However, you should be aware that when gout passes into the chronic stage, a tendency to spread is detected, a greater number of articular joints are involved in the pathological process. In such cases, gouty polyarthritis is diagnosed. In parallel with its development, the destruction of hyaline cartilage occurs with the formation of defects in the bones. Such cavities are subsequently filled with urate crystals. Joint deformation occurs, functional activity is lost.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gout

Why are these completely different systemic diseases compared and how are uric acid and rheumatoid arthritis related. Comparison and search for the general is due to the similarity of symptoms. Both diseases are inflammatory, provoke pain, swelling, redness, skin tightness in the affected area. The symptoms are especially similar in the later stages, when treatment is not performed, and the examination reveals chronic gouty deposits in the joints that are difficult to distinguish from rheumatoid nodules.

The main difference between rheumatoid arthritis and gout is the causes of the development of inflammatory reactions. If in the first case the cause of the inflammatory process is a malfunction in the immune system, then with gout due to everything, there is a high level of uric acid in the blood. Studies show that in 5,3% of patients with RA, gout was diagnosed simultaneously. If the presence of both diseases is confirmed, correction of treatment regimens is required (a diet is prescribed, drugs that block the synthesis of uric acid or contribute to its removal).

In addition to gouty arthritis, there are several other clinical forms that are considered atypical:

    rheumatoid gout – is characterized by multiple, often symmetrical damage to the joints, spreading to the joints of the hands (wrist, interphalangeal, metacarpophalangeal joint). Due to the fact that such localization is more typical for a rheumatoid species, such gout was called rheumatoid; Senile rheumatic gout – occurs with damage to the proximal (upper) parts of the arms and legs in the absence of articular deformities. What is rheumatic gout? This is the name of the symptom complex, which reflects severe pain, stiffness of the muscles of the shoulder or pelvic girdle (or at the same time). The disease begins acutely, amid well-being, symptoms may gradually increase. This form occurs mainly in the elderly – after 50 years.

Gout or arthritis – how to determine

The occurrence, course and outcome of gout determines precisely the concentration of uric acid in the blood and urine. With an increase in its level in the body, the accumulation of uric acid compounds occurs, their deposition in various organs and tissues. Gradually, deposited in soft tissues, urate crystals form gouty tofus, which contribute to the onset of inflammation in the periarticular sacs and tendons.

What is the difference between arthritis and gout? Arthritis, as an independent joint disease, is slowly but steadily progressing. Preventive measures, therapeutic exercises and drug therapy can only alleviate the symptoms and slow down the rate of development of the disease, which ultimately leads to a decrease in the functionality of the joint.

Differences of arthritis from arthrosis of the knee joint

Arthritis and arthrosis of the knee joint are diagnoses that both elderly and young people face. Two joint pathologies are very similar in symptoms, however, these are diseases of different etiologies. The treatment of knee articular pathologies cannot be identical. The success of therapy is to address the root cause of the disease. This is the main argument why arthritis differs from arthrosis of the knee joint. With arthritis, it is necessary to stop the inflammatory process in the knee joint, with arthrosis – to eliminate the factor that provokes the destruction of the articular cartilage.

Factors of manifestation of knee pathologies

Before considering the causes of joint diseases and characterizing the distinctive features, the concepts of arthritis and arthrosis should be clearly distinguished:

  • Arthritis is an internal autoimmune inflammation of the knee joint, gradually covering adjacent tissues and internal organs, which is characterized by asymmetric manifestations (can affect two limbs at the same time);
  • Osteoarthritis is a disease that does not extend beyond the limits of the knee apparatus, characterized by cartilage wear, deformation of the structure of the knee, which provokes curvature of the lower extremities.

A feature of articular pathologies is that they are interconnected. Lack of treatment of one can provoke the development of another. Their simultaneous manifestation is also possible.

Considered diseases of the knee require immediate treatment, otherwise the patient can not avoid disability.

General reasons

The start of articular pathologies can be:

  • Metabolic disorders;
  • Age-related changes in the body;
  • Injuries
  • Excessive physical exertion on the legs;
  • Immobility;
  • Chronic stress
  • Hypothermia of limbs;
  • Excess body weight.

Causes of Arthritis

  • Infections (bacterial, viral, STDs);
  • Malfunction of the immune system;
  • Accumulation of uric ac >

Causes of Arthrosis

  • Unbalanced nutrition;
  • Circulatory disorders of the extremities;
  • Surgical interventions;
  • Endocrine diseases.

Symptoms: similarities and differences

The similarity of articular pathologies is the manifestation of painful discomfort, in which full limb mobility is limited (stiffness of the joint) or is possible with outside help or the use of supportive devices that reduce the load on the diseased knee joint.

But even by the intensity of the pain syndrome, arthrosis and arthritis can be distinguished:

  • With rheumatoid arthritis, acute pain occurs that bothers at night;
  • With arthrosis, aching pain makes itself felt, which manifests itself with the progressive destruction of the cartilage joint joint.

External differences

Significant differences of arthritis from arthrosis of the knee joint:

  • With inflammation, pronounced swelling of the knee is observed, with arthrosis, the destruction of the cartilage tissue can occur without visible signs or with moderate swelling of the joint;
  • With rheumatoid damage, the knee at the site of localization of the inflammatory focus turns red, with arthrosis, no external changes are observed;
  • Deformation of the knee joint is accompanied by a dry loud crunch, with internal inflammation, a crunch is impossible, since the joint structure is not broken.

Crunching healthy joints is the norm, the development of arthrosis confirms the crunch, accompanied by severe pain and blocking the limb.

Specific signs of knee disease

  • Against the background of inflammation, body temperature rises, chills are observed, with necrosis of the joint surface – general weakness;
  • An autoimmune reaction can block joints throughout the body, including the knee, arthrosis leads to dysfunction of the knee and hip joints;
  • With the destruction of the cartilage, the knee anatomy is deformed – the degenerative process changes the axis of the lower limb (internal, external displacement), with arthritis, the maximum deformation is the swelling of the knee;
  • In arthritis, stiffness of the knee joint depends on the rate of autoimmune damage to its internal structure; in arthrosis, stiffness of the joint is possible only at the stage of complete abrasion of cartilage;
  • Arthritis is accompanied by neurological disorders due to inflammation, with arthrosis, inflammation can affect the joint capsule only with severe destruction of the joint tissue.

Flow rate

The difference between arthrosis and arthritis of the knee joint also lies in the degree of disease progression.

  • Arthrosis is sluggish and hidden, often makes itself felt when most of the cartilage tissue of the joint is destroyed.
  • Arthritis is acute, accompanied by sudden outbreaks of inflammation, frequent relapses.


A correct diagnosis of articular pathologies is impossible only after a visual examination of the patient and history taking. Because the disease is interchangeable and can affect the knee at the same time, in-depth studies of the patient’s health are needed.

Diagnosis of articular pathologies consists in examining the condition of the knee with:

The obtained images allow us to assess the degree of damage to the knee joint:

  • Identify areas of destruction of the cartilage litter;
  • Determine the localization of the focus of inflammation;
  • Assess the degree of deformation of bone elements.

Additionally, you need to take blood and urine tests to identify:

  • Rheumatoid factor, accumulation of uric acid (with arthritis);
  • C-reactive protein (with osteoarthrosis);
  • The number of red blood cells and their sedimentation rate (overestimated rates for arthritis).

In acute course and in the late stages of the disease, synovial fluid puncture is appropriate. A biopsy reveals the cause of the disease.

Knee joint treatment

From pain

With arthritis and arthrosis, it is necessary first of all to stop the pain:

    With rheumato >

Elimination of the root cause

  • To stabilize the immune system for arthritis, immunosuppressants are prescribed – Methotrexate, Imuran, Pirfect, Cellsept, Auranofin.
  • For arthrosis of the initial and middle stages, chondroprotectors – Mucosat, Structum, Chondroxide, Chondrolon, Artradol, Chondrogard – are recommended for the restoration of the cartilage component.

In both cases, it is appropriate to stimulate the production of synovial fluid with glucosamines – Elbon, Don, Glucosamine maximum, Sustilak, Stoparthrosis.

Improving mobile function

In both situations:

  • Warming ointments that improve blood circulation in the knee joint are applicable, with arthritis they can be used only after stopping inflammation – Menovazin, Trental, Fastum-gel, Voltaren-gel, Indomethacin;
  • Physiotherapy (ultrasound, electrophoresis, cryotherapy, thermal baths, magnetotherapy), massage, physiotherapy exercises according to an individual program are useful (duration of procedures and treatment course, intensity, set of exercises are different).

Running pathology of the knee joint is not recommended. Inflammatory processes can be stopped with medications, joint deformation can be irreversible. In advanced cases, it is impossible to do without surgical intervention.

Morozov Georgiy

Georgy Morozov, rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases.