What is Chondroprotection?

What is chondroprotection?
Chondroprotection is the set of actions aimed at preventing, delaying, or repairing degenerative joint lesions.
Chondroprotection measures are the following:

  • Prevent joint damage: trauma, sports injuries, and joint diseases as osteoarthritis.
  • Protect the joint and delay its deterioration: Avoiding overweight, maintaining adequate physical postures, performing moderate physical exercise and strengthening muscles.
  • Treat inflammatory processes and joint cartilage lesions using a medical (analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs or chondroprotectors) or surgical treatment.

What are chondroprotectors?
Chondroprotectors are drugs that act to protect the joint cartilage, subchondral bone and synovial membrane, which are the main structures of the joint. This pharmacological group encompasses the drugs targeted to preserving the integrity of cartilage, subchondral bone and synovial membrane, and therefore slowing progression of osteoarthritis.

How do chondroprotectors act?
The benefits of chondroprotective treatment are the following:

  • Pain reduction and improvement of mobility
  • Reduction of the need for analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Control of progression of osteoarthritis

Chondroprotectors relieve pain and functional limitation of osteoarthritis from 2-3 weeks after starting treatment, and their effect is temporarily prolonged after withdrawing the drug.

What chondroprotectors are available?

This group of drugs includes chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine by the oral route, and hyaluronic acid by the intraarticular route. These molecules are components of cartilage matrix, and have a better safety profile than NSAIDs. The main medical societies involved in the investigation and treatment of joint diseases, as European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) or OsteoArthritis Research Society Investigation, support the efficacy and safety of chondroprotectors for the treatment of osteoarthritis.