What is osteoarthritis ?

Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that first attacks the cartilage with slow erosion until it disappears completely.

It is a chronic disease, difficult to eradicate, which evolves in flare-ups.

It mainly affects the knees (gonarthrosis), the hips (coxarthrosis), the lumbar (lumbarthrosis), the cervical (cervicarthrosis) and the hands.

Anatomical reminders

A joint is made up of two bones facing each other, covered with cartilage, all enclosed in a joint capsule lined inside by the synovial membrane (see figure 1).

Under normal conditions, cartilage needs a certain degree of pressure to live. Any hypopressure, but especially hyperpressure, lead to lesions of this cartilage.

Osteoarthritis is the result of mechanical and biological phenomena that destabilize the balance between the synthesis and degradation of cartilage and the bone below (WHO definition).

Beginning osteoarthritis results in cracks and then erosions of the cartilage which eventually, over the years, disappears.

We speak of terminal osteoarthritis when the cartilages of the bone have disappeared, it is accompanied by a reaction of condensation of the bone (osteo-condensation), abnormal growths (the "osteophytes") and cavities ( geodes), as well as flare-ups of congestion of the synovial membrane with synovial effusion (see figure 1).

All joints can be affected by osteoarthritis, but at very variable frequencies. The most affected joints are the spine, hands, knees and hips.

Risk factors

From the age of fifty, the risk of osteoarthritis increases with age and it is more common in women than in men.

The main risk factor for osteoarthritis is high blood pressure. The causes of this hypertension are numerous: overweight and obesity, professional or sports overuse (high level sport), joint trauma (joint fracture, dislocation, sprains, contusion, injury to the knee meniscus, etc.). A family plot is often found (especially for osteoarthritis of the fingers).

Signs of osteoarthritis

When it occurs, osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffens the joint. Many osteoarthritis are said to be "asymptomatic": they are discovered on an X-ray but they do not hurt (especially osteoarthritis of the spine). The pain of osteoarthritis occurs especially when you use your joint. She calms down at rest.

Joint stiffness sets in very slowly and only becomes apparent after several years of development. It can lead to lameness when it comes to joints of the lower limbs (hip, knee).

Management of chronic low back pain following lumbar (lumbarthrosis) or cervical (cervicarthrosis) osteoarthritis

Lumbarthrosis is the term used to define osteoarthritis of the lower back. It corresponds to chronic wear of the cartilage of the joints, located at the level of the lumbar vertebrae. This wear causes significant pain in the lower back (Lumbago) and is accompanied by joint stiffness that can greatly reduce the mobility of the person.

Lumbarthrosis is relatively common in this part of the back, because it is very stressed and supports a large part of the weight of the body. Lumbarthrosis has different origins, it can be due to scoliosis, inflammation of the intervertebral discs, an old fracture, an illness or even be the result of too violent an effort.

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, in addition to the possible treatments, certain changes in your lifestyle can be put in place to relieve you on a daily basis. For example :

  • Do not put too much strain on the osteoarthritic joints (in the case of osteoarthritis of the knee or hip in particular, avoid standing too long);
  • apart from flare-ups, the practice of physical activity that is gentle on the joints is recommended, provided that the intensity is adapted;
  • If you are overweight, losing weight can help relieve diseased joints;
  • with the help of a physiotherapist, appropriate rehabilitation exercises can be beneficial;
  • walking aids (cane, walker, etc.), plantar insoles or splints can also help relieve osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, foot or hands.
  • on medical prescription, the taking of analgesic, anti-inflammatory or anti-osteoarthritis drugs can be considered depending on the case. Unlike paracetamol which calms certain crises and which is generally well tolerated, anti-inflammatory drugs (ketoprofen, ibuprofen ..) are to be prescribed by the doctor because they must remain of limited use because of many side effects.

When the disease reaches an advanced stage and the pain becomes too intense, other treatments can be proposed to relieve the pain of the osteoarthritis patient. This is particularly the case for corticosteroid injections, viscosupplementation or even the fitting of a hip or knee prosthesis during surgery.

Note that surgery is to be used as a last resort (total hip prosthesis, total knee prosthesis) because the prostheses have a limited action over time (lifespan of 15 years on average)

Various so-called "anti-arthritic" drugs are marketed in France. But they have no demonstrated action on the symptoms or on the evolution of osteoarthritis, while they expose to adverse effects.

Place of spa treatment in Saubusse in the treatment of osteoarthritis: proven effectiveness

Spa treatment is a natural and gentle alternative for the body. It allows, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of water, to soothe pain and reduce the impact of the disease on the daily lives of those who suffer from it.

Saubusse thermal water has virtues to relieve pain and improve the flexibility of joint tissues. It reduces pressure and relieves effort, while heat provides sedative and soothing effects, so the thermal bath acts as a real treatment for rheumatism.

Lasting 18 days, the spa treatment in rheumatology involves both general treatments, which concern the whole body (baths, massages under thermal water, mobilization in the swimming pool, physiotherapy sessions, etc.) and local treatments. (showers and foot and hand baths, local applications of mud, thermal vapors acting locally, etc.).

The beneficial effects of Saubusse thermal treatments are mainly related to heat, which provides a decontracting and muscle-relaxing effect and lowers the excitability threshold of pain receptors. Manual massages or hydromassage jets also have an analgesic action.

Taking a "rheumatology" spa treatment in Saubusse improves tissue flexibility and reduces osteoarthritis pain on a daily basis. The "rheumatology" cure also contributes to improving the functional capacities of the joints and offers a real alternative to the regular administration of anti-inflammatories.

Autres pathologies prise en charge par la cure thermale de Saubusse

The main pathologies of the "Rheumatology" orientation treated by the Saubusse station are :

  • Osteoarthritis in all its locations (osteoarthritis of the knee, osteoarthritis of the hip, osteoarthritis, osteoarthritis of the knee, osteoarthritis of the spine, etc.)
  • Inflammatory rheumatism (arthritis, polyarthritis, etc.)
  • Tendonitis and periarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • The sequelae of trauma and post-operative consequences

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40180 Saubusse-Les-Bains

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