07 Jan Benefits of Joint Injections
Inflammation is one of your body’s first reactions to injury. When trauma occurs, blood flow to the area increases to help your immune system reach and repair the injured tissue. This induces inflammation and its associated symptoms, including pain, swelling, redness, and heat. In most cases, this is a good thing – the inflammation helps the joint heal and subsides when the healing process is complete. In some cases, however, the inflammatory process does not subside and becomes counterproductive. The affected joint can cause severe pain, restricted movement and structural damage that prevents the normal function from returning.
At All-Star Pain Management, we offer peripheral intra-articular joint injections that can relieve the aching caused by an inflamed joint. These injections may be a treatment option when oral anti-inflammatory medications are not effective and surgical intervention is not yet required.
What is a Joint Injection?
Joint injections can provide relief from pain and inflammation by reducing blood flow and decreasing the accumulation of immune system cells in the affected joint. The injections typically contain a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid. The anesthetic provides immediate pain relief for the procedure, while the steroid decreases inflammation by limiting the dilation of blood vessels around the joint for long-term pain relief.
The beneficial effects can last for months, allowing you to participate in physical therapy and/or an exercise program that can provide ongoing relief for your condition. Joint injections can also provide temporary pain relief for an event, such as a wedding or vacation, or postpone the need for surgery until a later date.
Joint Injections Can Serve Two Important Purposes
Undergoing joint injections may have more than one beneficial outcome. As a diagnostic tool, injections can help your doctor identify the source of your pain. If a joint injection successfully provides symptom relief, the affected body part has been correctly identified. If the injection does not improve the symptoms, another cause of joint pain needs to be considered. This process can help provide an accurate diagnosis and may reduce the need for further testing.
Joint injections are also used for pain relief purposes. As a therapeutic tool, injections can temporarily reduce inflammation and ease the pain associated with an inflamed joint. Therapeutic joint injections are minimally invasive and provide direct treatment to the affected area, offering localized relief with minimal or no side effects. Joint injections are often recommended for pain that does not respond to more conservative treatments, such as oral anti-inflammatory medication, and for patients seeking long-term relief. Most people enjoy two to six months of pain relief following a peripheral intra-articular injection.
Joint Injections Are A Versatile Treatment
Joint injections can be used to treat a wide range of areas and conditions. For therapeutic purposes, joint injections are most commonly performed into the knee, hip, shoulder and ankle joints. Other areas that can be treated include the elbow, wrist, and sacroiliac (SI) joints. Injections can relieve the discomfort associated with a number of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), tendinitis, gout, plantar fasciitis, and synovitis.
At All-Star Pain Management, we perform peripheral intra-articular injections using the ultrasound guidance method. This technique has an advantage over fluoroscopy, which has been used in the past for joint injections because it does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation from an x-ray device. Ultrasound guidance allows us to see the surrounding soft tissue, vessels and nerve structures to facilitate proper needle placement and ensure the medication is delivered into the joint space. Recent clinical studies have also found that ultrasound guidance reduces any discomfort associated with the procedure.
Joint Injections Can Be Combined With Other Treatments For Enhanced Relief
While injections do not treat the underlying condition responsible for joint pain, they can provide enough relief from pain and inflammation to address the condition via other methods. The beneficial effects of joint injections can be enhanced by physical therapy to strengthen muscles and increase mobility in the affected joint. A period of rest for the joint may be recommended in addition to participation in physical therapy. Patients may also be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or changing their footwear, to improve a joint’s biomechanics. Ideally, by making joint injections part of a broader treatment plan, the need for further injections will be reduced or eliminated.
Patients of All-Star Pain Management have the option to undergo complementary treatments that can provide ongoing pain relief. Modern regenerative medicine procedures such as stem cell therapy or PRP therapy can help restore damaged tissues by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. These treatments may not only reduce pain and improve joint function, but they also have the potential to slow, halt or repair damage to the affected area.
Am I a Candidate For Joint Injections?
Therapeutic injections may be recommended based on several factors, including the cause of the pain and your treatment goals. They are most effective for localized pain and swelling that is concentrated in a specific joint and does not respond to medicine or other conservative treatments. If your pain is spread over a wider area, joint injections are likely not the best treatment option. Injections may not be the right choice for you if you are taking anticoagulants, have previously had an adverse reaction to steroids, have had a steroid injection in the last few weeks or three times in the last year, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
All-Star Treatment at All-Star Pain Management
Dr. Zed and the staff at All-Star Pain Management are committed to offering individualized treatment plans and cutting-edge procedures. Our comprehensive selection of pain management solutions includes pain-relieving joint injections, so if you are experiencing chronic joint pain and are interested in learning more about how injections can help, call 443-808-1808 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options for effective, lasting pain relief.