3 Injections That Can Relieve Joint Pain

If you’re living with chronic joint pain that hasn’t improved with first-line treatments, such as oral anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy, you may benefit from joint injections. For many individuals suffering from joint pain, joint injections can reduce the pain and inflammation caused by certain conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and injuries. 

A joint injection is a minimally invasive procedure that is often used in conjunction with other therapies, such as bracing, physical therapy, and/or medications to delay or avoid surgery. Common injection sites include joints in the knee, spine, hip, shoulder, elbow, and ankle. 

You can achieve optimal results from joint injections when you consult medical professionals who specialize in administering this type of therapy. Joint injection specialist Hector Fabregas, MD, of Healthstone Primary Care, has extensive expertise in assessing and treating debilitating joint pain.

After giving you a thorough examination, going over your medical history, and performing diagnostic tests, Dr. Fabregas determines which type of joint injection is the most appropriate for your condition, so you can achieve optimal results. 

Dr. Fabregas and the team at Healthstone Primary Care administer three types of joint injections. Depending on certain factors, such as the cause, location, and severity of your pain, you may benefit from one of these treatments.

1. Corticosteroid joint injections

A corticosteroid joint injection contains a corticosteroid that is sometimes combined with a local anesthetic. The serum is injected directly into an affected joint to reduce pain and inflammation. 

Corticosteroids are used because they provide the fastest and most efficient treatment for controlling joint pain and inflammation. The injections can be used to provide temporary relief, so you can participate in physical therapy. This can help increase function and possibly improve joint health to delay or eliminate the need for a joint replacement or surgery. 

Corticosteroid injections can also be used as a diagnostic tool to determine the source of pain. When an injection provides pain relief, it can help confirm the affected joint.  

Relief can last from 1-6 months, depending on a wide range of factors, including the formula used and the severity of your condition. While corticosteroid joint injections can provide relief, they don’t cure the underlying condition. 

2. Platelet-rich plasma joint injections

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses platelets from your own blood to restore function and promote the healing of damaged joints. Platelets are rich in proteins called growth factors, which stimulate tissue regeneration, regulate cell division, and help injuries heal.

When injected into a damaged joint, growth factors attract more stem cells and blood flow to the affected area, which aids in healing. 

Your PRP solution is created by drawing a sample of your blood. Your sample is then placed in a centrifuge to separate your platelets from the other components in your blood. The resulting solution will contain a higher concentration of growth factors than the same volume of normal blood. 

This solution is then injected into the affected joint to provide concentrated healing power, promote improved function, and reduce pain. Since the treatment relies on your body’s natural processes to provide relief, it can take 1-3 months to notice results. 

3. Hyaluronic acid joint injections

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring cushioning agent that reduces joint friction, promotes smooth joint movement, and slows the progression of osteoarthritis. 

Levels of hyaluronic acid naturally decrease with age or the onset of osteoarthritis. Having low levels of this naturally occurring lubricant can cause joint pain and limit joint movement. 

The dosing schedule for hyaluronic acid may be scheduled once a week for 3-5 weeks, depending on the brand of hyaluronic acid administered. Pain relief isn’t immediate and may take four weeks after your initial injection. 

The duration of pain relief from hyaluronic acid joint injections can vary from 2-6 months. 

Additional injections may provide relief up to three years in patients who achieve initial improvement. 

To find out more about injections for joint pain and how they may be able to improve your quality of life, book an appointment online or over the phone with Healthstone Primary Care today.

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