If you are suffering from joint pain, you are not alone. It is a common problem and has many possible causes, from an injury to arthritis. Joint pain can be agonizing and can have a significant impact on your lifestyle, preventing you from doing the things you enjoy.
There are many treatments available to minimize joint pain, from medication to surgery. Injections can be used to reduce or eliminate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve the function of the joint. Let’s talk about some of the popular types of pain-relief injections and how they work:
Corticosteroid injections are used to treat inflamed or painful joints by mimicking the effects of naturally produced hormones in the body that suppress inflammation. Corticosteroid injections can be used to treat osteoarthritis symptoms and joint pain in areas such as the knees, hips, elbows, hands, wrists, and shoulders. The injection offers quick relief and can significantly improve the movability of the joint, and the benefits can last for up to three months.
Side effects can include temporary pain and swelling in the joint, but this usually gets better within a day or two. As with all injections, there is a small risk of infection – approximately 1 in 1,000.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic acid (HA) injections are typically used when corticosteroid injections don’t work, and they are usually only used for knee pain. Hyaluronic acid was originally derived from the rooster comb, but it is now made synthetically.
If you have diabetes, a hyaluronic acid injection may be a better treatment option than corticosteroids, which can raise blood sugar levels. Hyaluronic acid may also be recommended first if you don’t have obvious signs of inflammation.
Hyaluronic acid injections are chemically similar to your natural joint fluid, which acts as a lubricant to help the joints work properly and acts as a shock absorber. When you have osteoarthritis, a hyaluronic acid injection can stimulate the joint to start producing more natural HA. Some physicians also believe that HA injections can help to reduce joint pain by coating the nerve endings, thereby reducing inflammation.
One treatment can consist of one to three injections spread over several weeks. It can typically offer relief from pain and stiffness for four to five months, but sometimes lasts even up to one year.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can treat osteoarthritis joint pain as well as many other conditions. In a PRP injection, your own blood and platelets are used to promote healing. The platelets contain growth factors and proteins that aid healing in soft tissues and support the growth of cells.
PRP injection therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that involves extracting a sample of the patient’s blood, isolating the platelets from the blood, and then concentrating them. The concentration of platelets is then reinjected into the damaged or painful joint to stimulate the body’s natural healing process and to help reduce inflammation.
Multiple sessions of PRP injection therapy may be required (up to three injections within three months) to achieve effective results, depending on the severity of the condition being treated.
Side Effects of Pain-Relief Injections
The injections listed above are often effective in reducing or stopping joint pain, but they do not always stop the pain from returning. Some injections have increased effectiveness when used in conjunction with other therapies. Your physician will work with you to decide which course of treatment is best, based on your individual needs.
It is important to remember that not every type of injection is right for every patient. It can take time to find the one that is right for you and that treats your joint condition effectively.
Orthopedic Doctors in South Florida
At Total Orthopaedic Care, we specialize in treating all types of joint pain. We provide comprehensive orthopedic and physical therapy services for all stages of life. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians deliver compassionate, focused care to help improve your mobility and get you to get back to where you want to be.
Call us today at (954) 735-3535 or you can request an appointment online via our easy-to-use form. We’re conveniently located in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes. We look forward to serving you!