How Effective are Injections in Remedying Joint Pain?
More than 30 million men and women in the United States suffer with joint pain. If you’re part of this population, you know it puts serious limitations on your daily activity, exercise habits, and quality of life.
At First Choice Medical Group, we offer multiple treatments for joint pain — including joint injections. This therapy can be a valid option for easing your joint pain and getting you up and moving again, especially when rest and physical therapy has proven inadequate. Read on to learn if joint injections are something you should pursue for joint pain treatment.
How do joint injections help?
Joints are areas of the body where bones meet. Your connective tissue, including cartilage, usually ensures these junctures move smoothly, but worn down cartilage and inflammation can make your joints achy, sore, and downright painful. Osteoarthritis, gout, overuse, and injury are all responsible for joint pain.
Joint injections can reduce inflammation, and thus the pain, in your joints. At First Choice Medical Group, we can administer injections into your knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands to minimize pain.
Many types of injections are available, including corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid injections. We’ll carefully review your symptoms and the likely cause of your pain when determining the type of injection to administer.
What are steroid injections?
Steroid injections are commonly administered at the knee and offer relief for a few days up to six months. They have fewer side effects than oral versions of corticosteroids, while offering a notable reduction in inflammation. Over time, however, steroid injections can actually contribute to cartilage breakdown, so we typically limit how many you can receive.
What are hyaluronic acid injections?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance your body produces. It acts as a shock absorber and lubricant so joints move smoothly. As you get older, hyaluronic production slows and breaks down, especially if you have osteoarthritis.
Hyaluronic injections are usually offered if steroid injections aren’t successful in relieving your pain. They’re also a good option for people with diabetes who may experience negative effects on their blood pressure from steroid injections. Usually, hyaluronic acid injections are used to ease knee pain.
Injecting the hyaluronic acid into the joint once a week for three to five weeks can help ease discomfort in your joints. In some people, the injections prompt the body to start naturally producing more hyaluronic acid, too.
How soon does relief come?
It may take several days for you to notice the positive effects of steroid injections. In the first day or two following treatment, you may actually have increased soreness, but that will fade. Most steroid injections include an anesthetic, which helps provide initial pain relief.
Hyaluronic injections provide relief for four to five months, but some people have positive results for up to a year.
If you suffer from joint pain and haven’t had much success with oral medications and physical therapy, consider joint injections. This treatment can effectively improve your function and ease pain and soreness.