Joint pain is considered the most common type of musculoskeletal pain that occurs as we age. It can be caused by multiple types of musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, gout, tendinitis, bursitis, and many more. In some cases, pain can improve with conservative treatments. However, for many patients that continue to experience joint pain unresponsive to conservative treatment options, joint injections can be extremely beneficial. The injections can be used in several locations throughout your body such as the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
There are several types of injections that are used:
A steroid injection contains a potent drug that helps reduce inflammation and irritation in the affected joints. Inflammation is the typically the underlying cause of pain within a joint and helping reduce inflammation can ease pain for several weeks to months at a time.
A local anesthetic injection contains a medication that numbs the pain, which would relive most or all of your joint pain. This is usually used in conjunction with a steroid as the anesthetic acts very quickly, but is short-lasting.
Viscosupplementation injections, often termed “gel injections,” contain hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a natural protein that works by supplementing the fluid in the joint and allows the ends of the bones to slide over each other instead of rubbing together painfully. These injections typically provide substantial pain relief to patients for several months at a time by loosening the knee and reducing friction in the joint. Ultimately, the artificial lubrication slows the progression of arthritis and helps avoid surgery.
If you have joint pain and it’s not improving with the most conservative treatments, joint injections could prove effective. Call Interventional Pain and Spine today to arrange a consultation.