Managing Pain with Joint Injections

Joint InjectionsAre joint pain and stiffness from arthritis restricting your movement and limiting your everyday activities? The conventional treatment combo of ice, compression and elevation (ICE) or use of anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve the symptoms, however, they do nothing to address the cause.

Nowadays, there are several types of joint injections available to ease pain and treat the underlying cause of the problem. Here is an overview of how these methods work and what to expect from these treatments.

Primary types of injections

Injections to treat joint pain generally fall into two different categories:

  • Cortisone combines a corticosteroid that fights inflammation by restricting blood flow with an anesthetic to soothe pain.
  • Hyaluronic acid makes up most of the fluid that lubricates the knee. If the amount of fluid is reduced due to a condition such as osteoarthritis, an injection of hyaluronic acid helps to bring it back up to healthy levels. Brand names of hyaluronic acid include Synvisc, Synvisc One and Supartz.

How joint injections work

In addition to a reduction in hyaluronic acid, joint pain is often caused by the body’s inflammatory response in which increased blood flow and release of injury-fighting chemicals result in swelling and irritation. Unlike painkillers that offer superficial relief, the medications in joint injections ease pain by acting directly on the underlying conditions.

What to expect from a joint injection

Your orthopedic surgeon will begin by using an anesthetic to numb the area, after which he will perform the injection in the joint space between the adjoining bones. The anesthetic will provide immediate relief, which may be followed by a temporary period of soreness due to insertion of the needle. Significant pain reduction usually occurs with three to four days. Some patients benefit from additional injections after a period of time.

If you are experiencing chronic joint pain, our experienced orthopedic surgeons can evaluate your condition and recommend the most effective options, including joint injections. Visit our website or call 602.466.7378 today to schedule your appointment.

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