Arthrosis (knee, spine): see what it is, symptoms and remedies

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), osteoarthritis is the rheumatic condition that most affects the world population, affecting up to 80% of people over 60 years of age.

The most characteristic symptom of the condition is severe joint pain, which in many cases can even be considered disabling.

But then how to prevent the disease?

What to do to improve the symptoms?

We bring these and many other information in the article below, check it out!


What is Arthrosis?

Arthrosis or osteoarthritis is a condition resulting from the wear and tear of the cartilage (lining tissue). This causes the surfaces of the two bones to come into contact, causing friction between them.

Cartilage is a component of the human body that prevents friction between bones and aims to provide support, in addition to cushioning impacts.

Over the years, this fabric has been reduced. In general, it is a natural condition (degenerative process), affecting mainly the elderly. Sometimes, however, wear and tear is accelerated by other factors, such as disease or physical impacts.

The regions most frequently affected are the fingers, cervical spine, knees, lower back and hips.

When symptoms manifest, pain, stiffness, increased joint volume and, in some cases, functional limitations may appear. In addition, arthrosis ends up causing bone structures to wear close to the one affected, due to the friction of the bones.

In the ICD classification, we can find arthrosis under the following code:

  • M150 – Primary osteoarthrosis;
  • M153 – Secondary multiple arthrosis;
  • M154 – Osteoartrose erosiva.

Differences between arthritis and osteoarthritis (arthrosis)

Although the symptoms are very similar, arthritis and osteoarthritis are different diseases, with different treatments and causes.

Arthritis is considered an inflammatory process of the joints, in which the most common symptoms are pain, swelling, difficulty in mobility and redness.

Arthrosis, on the other hand, is a degeneration of cartilage, making the cushioning process more difficult and consequently causing an impact between the bones.

It is quite common that they are associated, because inflammation resulting from arthritis can often accelerate cartilage degeneration, that is, cause arthrosis.

What is erosive arthrosis?

This specification of arthrosis is related to the degree of inflammation. When the destructive process of cartilage is accelerated and the inflammation is intense, then it can be classified as erosive arthrosis.

It is one of the most severe and painful forms of osteoarthritis. The condition is often confused with rheumatoid arthritis , and is also concentrated in the hands, although it can affect other cartilages.

It is identified from the erosion of cartilage and bone, causing a bone dislocation (called a gull injury).

Where does arthrosis occur?

Arthrosis is a condition that can be classified according to the affected joints. It can affect only 1 or manifest in several at the same time. When it affects up to 3 joint groups, it is called localized. With 3 or more groups it is called generalized arthrosis.

Knee Arthrosis

The knees are one of the most affected places due to the impacts suffered over the years. It is possible to notice an intensification of pain during physical practices, which is directly related to excessive weight.

The main way to reverse this symptom is through a change in lifestyle. Increasing muscle strength, flexibility and introducing aerobic exercises are good options to reduce local pain.

Hip arthrosis

The hip has a joint that allows the connection of the femur (thigh bone) with the pelvis (pelvic bone), generating the lower movements of our body.

Arthrosis, in these cases, can be caused by previous trauma, cartilage wear or even congenital (hereditary) changes. In addition, this specific location can be reached due to physical activities that wear down that joint.

This dysfunction can cause great pain when walking and its evolution is relatively slow, taking, in general, about fifteen years to develop.

Arthrosis in the fingers

The degradation of the cartilage present between the bones of the hand makes it difficult to move the fingers, causing pain and discomfort.

In addition, arthrosis may be due to repetitive work that requires a lot of finger usage, such as typing.

Therefore, the recommended for people who perform this type of activity, is to rest every 50 minutes for at least 10 minutes, since joint stress can aggravate the condition.

Spinal arthrosis

As in the conditions mentioned above, arthrosis in the spine is also caused by wear and tear on the cartilage.

Without proper care, this condition can develop and cause chronic pain that, in some cases, becomes disabling. Treatment is similar in all cases of osteoarthritis, regardless of the affected joint.

Foot arthrosis

This specific condition is even more accentuated as a result of some physical issues, such as obesity and changes in the foot type (flat or hollow).

As with other types, arthrosis in the foot can be treated with physical therapy, physical activity and medication.

Shoulder arthrosis

According to the American Society of Rheumatology, 30 minutes of physical activity, over 5 days a week, is enough to notice an improvement in pain. In addition, combining some practices, such as physiotherapy, can decrease pain, in addition to improving joint resourcefulness.

Arthrosis of the cervical

Characterized by the wear and tear of the cervical spine joints, this type of arthrosis is also related to the aging process or the excessive use of these joints. In some cases it can cause limitation of neck movements.

Types of arthrosis

Arthrosis is a condition that can be classified in two ways: primary and secondary. The main difference between them is the triggering cause of the condition.

Primary or idiopathic arthrosis

It mainly affects the elderly, due to cartilage wear or natural aging.

This degenerative or exhausting process causes the cartilage to gradually lose its smooth surface, causing friction between the bones and consequently causing pain.

Secondary arthrosis

Consequence of some other disease or condition, among which we can mention: joint trauma, obesity, gout , hormonal disorders or diabetes . This type of arthrosis can affect adults, children and the elderly.

Causes of osteoarthritis

Arthrosis is a multifactorial condition, that is, it can occur due to genetic, mechanical, traumatic or stressful factors – usually, the manifestation is due to associated conditions.

However, in some cases, its diagnosis does not include the cause, precisely because it is due to a sum of factors.

We know that in primary arthrosis the cause is unknown, however, the main triggering factor is cartilage wear. Eventually, it may begin to peel or degenerate.

In secondary arthrosis, it will be due to a degenerative process caused by some other condition. For example, an obese person, when performing repetitive movements, may end up causing trauma to the knee joints, for example.

Read more: Alcohol consumption is associated with milder symptoms of arthritis

Risk factors

Arthrosis is a condition that predominantly affects elderly people and women. In addition, some physical conditions can promote the development of this condition, such as obesity.

People over 60

Arthrosis is a condition that becomes very common after 60 years of age. This is because the joint has already suffered a natural wear and tear, which, as a consequence, presents itself in the form of arthrosis.


Some conditions can accentuate the development of osteoarthritis, such as obesity. Excessive body weight ends up causing extra pressure on the joints.


Women are up to 3 times more likely to develop osteoarthritis, however, there is still no scientific explanation related to this.

Certain professions

Some activities that require repetitive effort in a specific area of ​​the body, may end up reaching the joints and, consequently, developing an osteoarthritis. Fit all professions that require impactful or very repetitive activities, such as typing or production assistant.

Bone deformities

There is a group of people who are born with malformations of the joints or cartilage, which can generate changes in bone structure. These people need to redouble their care, as this factor can increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

High impact activities

People who practice high-impact exercises should undergo examinations in order to check for the existence of this condition. Any activity that generates stress, that is, impact on the joints, can aggravate or accelerate the wear and tear of the cartilage.

Symptoms of arthrosis

The most characteristic symptom of arthrosis is pain, which, in general, worsens with physical effort. In addition, it is possible to notice an increase in the stiffness of the organs affected by the condition. Other symptoms include:

Pain in the knee, spine and fingers

Due to the absence of cartilage or wear, any type of movement can cause friction between the bones. This generates local inflammation that causes pain and tenderness.

Joint stiffness

It is possible to notice a stiffness in the affected areas after a short period of inactivity, for example, while sleeping.

Perceiving stiff joints is quite common in the morning, right after waking up, precisely because of the long period of time that you have been left without movement.

Swelling in the joints

A characteristic symptom of arthrosis is swelling due to inflammation. The cells accumulated in the cartilage end up causing a local distension and, consequently, presenting the characteristic of swelling.


The cartilages affected by arthrosis undergo degeneration, altering the fit of the bones, leaving the joints more unstable. As a consequence, some limbs, such as the fingers, may become crooked.

What is a parrot’s beak?

The parrot’s beak is considered an arthrosis developed in the spine. It is characterized by a small bony protrusion (osteophyte), which lies between two vertebrae.

As with other arthrosis, the condition is caused by the wear and tear of the intervertebral structure. The most common symptoms are severe pain, limited movement and decreased muscle strength.

The condition is usually treated with medications to relieve symptoms, in addition to physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis of arthrosis is clinical and should preferably be made by a rheumatologist or orthopedist .

Through an individualized clinical evaluation, the doctor in charge can order exams such as:


It assists in the identification of arthrosis, in addition to assessing the severity of the condition.

This examination acts as a “photograph” of the human body, showing possible fractures and ruptures. It is considered the most used method, in addition to being inexpensive and widely available, both in fracture clinics and in public hospitals.


This test is widely used, mainly due to the quality of the image it presents to diagnose the condition.

The MRI machine has a magnet that, when connected with magnetic fields and radiofrequency, creates high definition images in 3 dimensions: horizontal, vertical and with the body divided.

It is considered a more accurate examination than radiography, since it can detect abnormalities in the menisci and ligaments.

Blood count

This test is not the most recommended to diagnose osteoarthritis. However, it is required when there is a possibility of secondary causes, such as other diseases.

It can be understood with a regular blood test, in which a small blood sample is taken.

In addition, it helps to find possible side effects caused by medication.

Is there a cure?

No. However, when performing the treatment correctly, it is possible to reduce the progression of the disease, in addition to improving the symptoms.

What is the treatment?

Arthrosis treatments aim to improve symptoms and joint function. In general, it is recommended to start physical therapy and avoid vicious postures.


The purpose of this activity is to strengthen the muscles around the joints. For this, the indicated exercises are light, low intensity and without impact, so as not to overload the joint.

It is worth mentioning that physiotherapy acts as a complement to pharmacological treatment.

The possibilities of applications within the field of physiotherapy are enormous, from transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), such as laser therapy, physical means (heat and cold), kinesiotherapy, among others.


Indicated for cases in which alternative treatments were not effective or when the rheumatologist considers it necessary.

There are several types of surgeries, which have as a differential the incision technique applied in each one, that is, how it is done.

In most cases, the return to physical activities occurs smoothly. However, in cases where the condition is more severe, the doctor may request that high-impact activities are not allowed for severe osteoarthritis.

Corticosteroid infiltration

This treatment is by means of an injection, in this case, of corticosteroids, which is an anti-inflammatory.

It works to decrease inflammation, causing pain to reduce.

The therapy is frequently used in patients with knee arthrosis, being, in general, one application at a time and the duration of the results varies, generally, between 15 and 60 days.

The application can be painful, but it is very fast, taking around 2 minutes to perform it. Infiltration is a safe process, with low risk of complications.

Infiltration of hyaluronic acid

The medications used for infiltrations are: corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory, and hyaluronic acid, which is a substance produced by our own body and which acts as a lubricant, in addition to nourishing the cartilages.

Both applications aim to treat injuries and reduce inflammation, being done directly on the joints, such as knee, shoulder, hip or spine, and it is up to the doctor to assess the relevance of each to the patient’s condition.

The doctor recommended to perform this application is an orthopedist, however, it is not necessary to be in a hospital environment, only to redouble the attention regarding hygiene care.

Drug treatments

The treatment for osteoarthritis is always multidisciplinary, since just using the medications is not enough to remedy the condition. Therefore, it is important to combine the prescription with other therapeutic techniques, such as physical therapy, for example.

The first drug indication to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis is to use analgesics. However, in more severe cases, it is recommended to use the painkiller for short periods of time, as they can cause addiction if used for a long time.

However, when the responsible doctor detects an inflammation in the osteoarthritis, the indication is to use anti-inflammatory drugs.

Read more: Muscle relaxant (medicine, natural): what is it, names, gives you sleep?

This medication works to relieve pain and fight inflammation. However, it is important to emphasize that, as it is a condition that affects many elderly people, care must be redoubled when using the medication.

That’s because anti-inflammatory drugs can have some kind of adverse effect on the kidney.

Medicines: name of remedy for osteoarthritis

The drug treatment of osteoarthritis is done through the prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, in order to reduce pain and maintain joint movements.

Read more: New drug for rheumatoid arthritis is released by SUS

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

These drugs have analgesic action, resulting from anti-inflammatory activity and can be used for pain in the case of arthrosis.

Among the options are Novalgine tablet , Dipyrone monohydrate , Tylenol , Doril and Alivium .


This drug class acts as a cartilage protector, favoring the formation of articular cartilage.

Use for periods longer than 3 weeks acts to regenerate cartilage, reducing pain and limiting movement.

Drugs such as Condroflex capsules , Artrolive capsules , Bolt caps and Arctic can be recommended .


NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained on this site is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Home treatment: how to care in a natural way?

Arthrosis is a condition that must be treated together with the doctor and specialized health professionals. However, in addition to clinical guidelines, some homemade and natural options can assist in pain control.

Anti-inflammatory teas

Preparing teas and drinking them during the day can be a good option to relax, calm and relieve pain. Some herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that, in general, can be beneficial to the body.

The ginger or chamomile, for example, are good choices.

Hot compresses

Making compresses helps to relieve pain by stimulating local blood circulation. It can also assist in moments of joint stiffness.

Light physical exercises

Doing small activity routines right when you wake up or before bed can be very effective in managing pain, reducing the impact of arthrosis.

Read more: Joint pain: just 1 hour of exercise helps prevent

Complementary therapy

Yoga, acupuncture, music therapy, relaxation or massage. Choosing an allied therapy to control pain and emotional symptoms can be very important, reinforcing the treatment.

Diet: Can food help with treatment?

Arthrosis can cause symptoms such as local pain and, in some cases, difficulty in moving. However, there are some specific nutrients that, if ingested more often, promise to alleviate these symptoms. Among them we can mention:

Read more: Why eat greens and vegetables?


This food is rich in fatty acids and omega 3, ideal for disinfecting tissues. In addition, because it is considered a high quality protein, the fish acts to protect the cartilage, reducing the progress of deterioration.

Among the most recommended options, we have: salmon, tuna, herring and trout.

Read more: Myths and truths about the use and benefits of omega 3


This food acts to protect the articular cartilages, helping in the process of reducing deterioration. Due to its high mineral content, carrots also contribute to the regeneration of bone tissues, controlling inflammation and local pain.

Citrus fruits

Source of vitamin C, citrus fruits are excellent sources of antioxidant. In addition, they have proteoglycans and collagen, two ideal substances for those looking to protect their joints.

Among the fruit options we can mention: orange, guava, lemon and tangerine.

Living with arthrosis

Some changes in daily life and lifestyle may be able to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Among the tips, we can mention:

Practice physical exercises

Exercising makes you build muscle, gain resistance and, consequently, reduce pain.

With the musculature better able to handle the weight of the body, the posture is improved and it is easier to maintain the stability of the trunk. In general, this reduces the impact on the joints and can relieve the pain of arthrosis.

Strengthen joints

The lack of muscle preparation can cause overload in the joints and cartilage, as is the case of the knee, for example.

When gaining lean mass (muscle), it is easier to adopt more appropriate postures, in addition to guaranteeing an ideal support and support for our body.

For this, you can search for physical activities such as weight training , for example.

Maintain a healthy weight

The scientific journal Rheumatology International published a study claiming that overweight people who reduced their body weight by 10 kilos managed to reduce knee pain caused by arthrosis by up to 20%.

That is, by maintaining a healthy weight and an exercise routine, it is possible to decrease the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Alternative equipment

Consider using canes, crutches, neck braces or insoles, since all of these items work to reduce overload on the joints.

It is important that any accessory or adaptation is made with the help of a trained professional, who can be, for example, the physiotherapist or occupational therapist.

Small accommodations, changes in the environment or the adoption of accessories in the routine can reduce and alleviate the limitations resulting from arthrosis.


Several factors can influence the development of arthrosis, such as the patient’s age, sex, ethnicity, weight, daily activities, among others. Thus, the progression of this condition ends up being quite variable as well.

Arthrosis is a condition that, over the years, can end up reducing the ability to perform some daily tasks that involve physical effort. This is because pain, characteristic of arthrosis, is considered in some cases to be impossible.

Complications: beyond knee pain

As it is classified as a degenerative disease, osteoarthritis can worsen over time. That is, joint pain and stiffness in the affected limbs may worsen, causing greater difficulty to perform daily tasks.

Consequently, people who have osteoarthritis may experience a reduction in autonomy, in addition to emotional complications.

Chronic pain

Pain, which is one of the main symptoms of osteoarthritis, can get even worse without proper treatment. This can lead to a condition called chronic joint pain, which ends up becoming a condition that does not go away and greatly limits the patient’s activities.

Loss of autonomy

Arthrosis is a condition that causes cartilage wear.

If this disease is not corrected, it can cause the patient to lose or reduce the ability to move, generating consequences such as reduced autonomy and limited movement.

In addition to the physical aspect, the patient may have the emotional and psychological condition affected by this complication.

How to prevent osteoarthritis?

Some lifestyle changes can be significant in preventing the development of osteoarthritis. Among the possible options, we can mention:

Practice physical activities

Maintaining the habit of performing physical activities helps in the process of decreasing pressure in the joints and cartilage. Exercises are an excellent option for maintaining a healthy life and healthy joint functions.

The ideal is to prefer exercises that do not have so much impact on the joints, always accompanied and indicated by a specialized professional.

Control the weight

As mentioned earlier, by maintaining a healthy and stable weight, your body does not suffer as much pressure on joints and cartilage.

So, have an exercise routine and take care of your food, adopting healthy habits, it is always a good way to regulate weight.

Maintain good body posture

When paying attention to body posture, we keep the body aligned and do not exceed the weight required for a specific region of the body.

This causes the joints to suffer less stress due to posture.

Strengthen muscles

By strengthening the members of our body, we decrease the amount of effort in which the joints are exposed. That is, the more muscles we have, the less strength we will make in the joints, reducing local pain.

Read more: Physical exercise metabolism: how do we gain muscle mass?

Common questions

I have knee arthrosis. Should I stop playing sports?

No . Activities are part of the treatment as well, and a sedentary lifestyle can aggravate pain and limit rehabilitation.

In addition, nowadays, with the evolution of medicine, there are techniques that help the treatment of joints and cartilage, so that most patients do not have to abandon their favorite activities.

This is because procedures such as infiltration of corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid, for example, act beneficially in areas affected by arthrosis.

Do medications recover cartilage?

No . Drug treatments act only as a symptom reducer, that is, they act by reducing pain and enabling better living conditions.

When is it necessary to have surgery for osteoarthritis?

This procedure is reserved only for the most serious and limiting cases, where the doctor himself realizes that there is no evolution in the treatments mentioned above.

Can tea treat osteoarthritis?

There are several teas that can be combined with the treatment of osteoarthritis. This is because some have anti-inflammatory properties and help to strengthen the body.

Ginger and chamomile tea, for example, are options that can be combined with healthy habits and other medical treatments.

Remembering that no homemade recipe cures arthrosis and should not replace medical treatment.

Is spinal arthrosis severe?

Every condition of arthrosis must be evaluated by the doctor, as there are different intensities. The level of severity, then, depends on this medical assessment and response to treatment. Regardless of the location, whether in the spine, knee or other joint region, arthrosis must be monitored and treated by specialists.

What is the best medicine for knee pain?

Several conditions can cause knee pain and, therefore, the treatment is different. Arthrosis is strongly associated with pain. In such cases, it is necessary to seek medical advice so that the best treatment is indicated.

When it comes to pain in general, the use of anti-inflammatories, compresses and rest is essential to relieve pain in the area.

Does knee osteoarthritis retire?

There is no closed list of illnesses or conditions that will definitely result in retirement. There is Article 26, of Law 8,213 / 91, which stipulates some conditions as free from grace. That is, they indicate the patient’s immediate retirement or retirement.

Arthrosis is not on that list, but it is one of the most requested conditions in retirement processes. About 7% are opened due to arthrosis.

But, in these cases, the patient needs to prove that the condition is limiting and interferes with the performance of professional activities.

Arthrosis is a degenerative disease and its main symptom is severe pain. So it is important to keep your health up to date and your body in motion.

According to the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology, osteoarthritis is a condition that affects mainly women.

Do you know any who have the pathology? Then share this article so they can learn more about osteoarthritis and how to prevent it.