Approximately 30 million adults in the United States suffer with joint pain, which is often debilitating and can keep people from staying active and even make daily chores seem impossible. Treatment options are not limited to pills or surgery, but can also include injections into the affected joint. Depending on the severity of your pain, injections can be another option for easing your joint pain and reducing inflammation, in order to get you moving again.
Joints form the connections between bones, and they provide support and help you move. Any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause significant, chronic pain.
Many different conditions can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. Joint pain is extremely common. In one national survey, about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but joint pain can affect any part of your body, from your ankles and feet to your shoulders and hands. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common.
For people who don’t find joint pain relief from oral or topical medications, the doctors at CSPP can inject a steroid medication (which may be combined with a local anesthetic) directly into the joint every 3 to 4 months. Steroid injections are most commonly used in patients with arthritis, joint disease, or tendinitis. The procedure is effective, but in most situations the effect be temporary. It can also have side effects; if steroid injections mask an injury, you could overuse the joint and damage it even further.
Other injection options include:
- Removing fluid from the joint (and is often done in connection with a steroid injection)
- Injections of hyaluronan, a synthetic version of the natural joint fluid. This is used to treat osteoarthritis
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections