Periarthritis – what is it and how to treat it

Sometimes the concept of periarthritis is confused with the term “periarteritis.” These are completely different diseases, which in no case can be identified with each other.

Periarteritis is a vascular disease that often becomes a consequence of vasculitis. This pathology has nothing to do with joints and their components.

Periarthritis does not develop for no reason. As for any other pathology, favorable conditions must be created for it.

The main causes and factors are:

  • severe hypothermia;
  • prolonged stay in a damp, cold room;
  • previously transferred diseases of an infectious nature (in this case, periarthritis develops as a complication);
  • chronic arthrosis;
  • congenital diseases of the musculoskeletal system;
  • trauma (post-traumatic periarthritis);
  • intense exercise.

Often, periarthritis develops in people who are professionally involved in sports. However, physical activity is not always the cause of the pathology, as can be seen from the above list.

In any case, the attending physician should establish what caused the development of the disease.


Symptoms of articular periarthritis are quite diverse. One of the main problems is aching pain in the affected periarticular region, which increases significantly with movements.

In addition, periarthritis is characterized by:

  • muscular tension in the area of ​​the affected periarticular element;
  • swelling of the soft tissues in the affected area;
  • partial immobility of the part of the body where the focus of the disease is located.

Periarthritis can occur in three forms:

Periarthritis requires complex therapy, since such an approach helps to get rid of an unpleasant disease as efficiently and as quickly as possible.


Periarthritis is divided into several types, which have their own characteristics of manifestation and localization.

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

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Periarthritis of the shoulder blade

In 80% of all cases, this type of periarthritis is found. Its cause is often a constant strong load on the joints of the shoulder and scapular part.

Abduction and rotation of the arm, sudden movements, lifting weights, falling, bounce – all these factors can lead to the development of articular shoulder-shoulder periarthritis.

In half of all cases of PLP, the right hand suffers, which is quite natural, because most of the loads fall on it (of course, if the patient is not left-handed).

Periarthritis of the shoulder blade can be:

Sometimes the development of shoulder-shoulder periarthritis is associated with the presence of such a pathology as osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Knee periarthritis

Periarthritis of the knee joint manifests itself with the help of severe pain in the knee, which becomes more intense with the load on it. Even slight bending and slow extension of the knee causes pain. They pass only at the moment when a person is at rest.

Timely initiated therapy is the key to complete recovery without the risk of complications. But with a late start of treatment, the prognosis is not so rosy, so discomfort or frequently occurring pain in the knee should not be ignored.

Hip Periarthritis

With periarthritis of the hip joint, the symptoms are not as pronounced as with the two previous varieties of pathology.

The patient is tormented by a slight pain in the outer part of the affected thigh, but at rest they pass without a trace. For this reason, often such feelings are attributed to a slight injury or intense physical exertion.

Diagnosis of periarthritis of the hip joint is a rather complicated process, as often patients confuse the localization of pain, claiming that it is felt in the knee.

Of course, during the examination, the doctor does not detect anything suspicious, and recommends that the patient reduce the intensity of physical exertion on the sore leg. Meanwhile, pathology continues to progress.

The development of periarthritis is not only affected by the above parts of the body – it can develop on the hands, toes, in the ankle joint, etc. However, the types of pathology that have been described above are most often found, therefore, the classification is based on them.

Which doctor treats periarthritis?

For the treatment of periarthritis, you need to consult a rheumatologist. The doctor will prescribe the necessary instrumental studies based on the patient’s complaints and the severity of the pathology.

Diagnosis of the disease

To make a correct diagnosis, in addition to collecting an anamnesis and visual examination with the accompanying palpation of diseased parts of the body, the patient must:

  • Ultrasound diagnosis. Using this research method, you can accurately determine the localization of the focus of the disease.
  • Thermography, which helps to establish the difference in temperature values ​​of healthy and diseased joints.
  • Oak
  • Radiography.
  • MRI.

These measures help establish the severity of the disease and the localization of its focus. Sometimes it happens that several joints are involved in the pathological process, not just one. In this case, there is a disease of polyarthritis.

Pathology requires urgent treatment, since it can lead to rather serious consequences.

Therapeutic approach

Treatment of periarthritis should be combined from several methods at once, otherwise it will not give the expected results. In this case, the following is carried out:

  • drug therapy;
  • physiotherapy;
  • treatment with alternative methods;
  • physiotherapy.

Conservative therapy

How to treat periarthritis with medications? The main thing is not to forget that any one remedy will not help cure the pathology. An integrated approach is also needed here. So, the patient may be prescribed:

  • injections to relieve inflammation (Diclofenac in the form of injections, Diclac, Ibuprofen or its analogues, Nimesulide, etc.);
  • gels and ointments that also have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects (Rilif, Fastum gel, Apizartron, etc.);
  • compresses on sore spots with the drug Dimexidum (1 part of the drug is diluted in 5 parts of ordinary water or water for injection);
  • the use of glucocorticosteroids (hydrocortisone, betamethasone);
  • the use of chondroprotectors that help strengthen the diseased joint (DONA, Mucosat, etc.);
  • vitamin preparations based on group B.

The treatment of periarthritis with medications goes well with physiotherapeutic procedures.


Sessions help to cope with the pathology:

  • ultra-high frequencies (the beam temperature is selected depending on the patient’s sensations);
  • electrophoresis using dimexide and novocaine;
  • magnetic therapy;
  • ozokerite;
  • mud therapy;
  • paraffin baths.

When the pain disappears a little, the patient can be prescribed massage sessions.

Alternative treatment methods and exercise therapy

These therapeutic methods include:

  • acupuncture sessions;
  • hirudotherapy;
  • reflexology.

The course of exercise therapy is prescribed after undergoing the main treatment. It is aimed at restoring the tissues of the diseased joint and the complete resumption of its mobility.

Can periarthritis be completely cured? Fortunately, the prognosis of therapy is quite favorable, especially if the disease was detected in a timely manner, that is, in the early stages. But even in the later stages, you can get rid of the disease, even if only for a while. The main thing is to undergo therapy to the end.

Features of periarthritis in children

In children, the most common are the shoulder-shoulder periarthritis, although development of its other species cannot be ruled out. In a small child, the cause of the pathology can be trauma caused by a fall or a strong blow.

If you do not pay attention to the child’s complaints about the presence of pain and limited mobility of the affected joint in a timely manner, the pathology can go into the phase of chronicity. Chronic periarthritis in children is accompanied by dull pains, which significantly increase in the morning and at night.

The treatment of the disease in children is no different from that in adults. The difference can only be in the dosages of tablets or injectable medications that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

Children are recommended to follow a diet that includes the use of:

  • a large number of dairy and sour milk products;
  • fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • gelatin dishes;
  • sea ​​fish;
  • cereal crops and various types of cereals.

At the same time, it is necessary to exclude from the daily diet:

  • salinity (especially fish and meat);
  • smoked products;
  • fried foods;
  • greasy food.

According to the same principle, a dietary menu is compiled for adult patients, but there is one addition to it: for the duration of therapy, the patient should refuse to drink alcohol. More about diet for joints →


To prevent the primary or re-development of periarthritis, it is necessary to follow simple, but very effective rules:

  • do not overstrain joints – perform only feasible physical activity;
  • timely treat diseases that can cause the development of periarthritis;
  • do gymnastics daily (at least half an hour a day);
  • enrich the diet with vitamins and minerals;
  • carefully monitor body weight.

If you follow these rules, you will get a chance to never again encounter periarthritis again, as well as prevent its primary development.

If the disease has already been detected, do not hesitate to treat it. With the timely start of therapy, you can completely get rid of periarthritis in less than a month.

Shishkevich Vladimir

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews. It specializes in the treatment of diseases in orthopedic, traumatological, vertebrological profiles