The Role of Joint Injections in Managing Your Arthritis

Regardless of the form, it’s difficult to live with arthritis. You want to retain mobility and range of motion for as long as possible, but also limit the severity of your symptoms. Luckily, there are treatments and lifestyle changes you can make that help with both. 

At Rheumatology Solutions, our expert providers use whatever treatments are most appropriate for your situation. The type of arthritis you have, how advanced it is, your overall health and goals, as well as what treatments you’ve had before are all critical factors in determining what may or may not work for you. One treatment that surprises many of our patients is musculoskeletal injections. 

We offer several types of injections, but our goal is the same with any treatment. We want to improve your quality of life and to lessen the severity of your symptoms. Here are three of the injections we offer. 

1. Corticosteroid injections

Corticosteroid injections are most often used to treat osteoarthritis pain, and particularly osteoarthritis of the knee. The medication in the injection reduces inflammation, and since inflammation causes pain and swelling, your symptoms are also reduced. It’s a relatively quick procedure, and we use an ultrasound to make sure the injection delivers the medication precisely where you need it. 

Most of the time, you feel relief from the injection for two to three months. We may recommend a series of injections. Corticosteroids don’t stop the progression of disease, but may provide relief from your symptoms. 

Often corticosteroid injections allow you to strengthen your joint through physical therapy. When the tissues and muscles that support your damaged joint are stronger, you have less risk of injury and may feel less pain. 

2. Viscosupplementation

Your body naturally produces a substance called hyaluronic acid (HA), which is important for healthy skin, connective tissues, eyes, and joints. It’s a lubricant, which is why it’s critical for healthy joints. When you have viscosupplementation treatments, you get an injection of hyaluronic acid directly into your joint. 

Viscosupplementation is usually used to treat arthritis in your knees. When you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage that protects your joint begins to wear down, and that can allow your bones to grind painfully against each other. Viscosupplementation can add lubrication to your joint. 

You may not feel relief right away, but you should over time. You may need to avoid standing for long periods for about one day following the treatment, and it may be a few weeks before you notice the effects of the injection. Once it takes effect, it lasts for several months. 

3. Amniotic fluid injections

Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds a fetus as it grows. It contains growth factors that encourage the growth and repair of cartilage and other soft tissues. We use a product called Interfyl® for this procedure. 

Interfyl is derived from healthy, full-term pregnancies, and it helps damaged or wounded tissues repair and grow. There is no cure yet for arthritis, but procedures like amniotic fluid injections offer some hope that there will be in the near future. 

As your damaged tissue begins to heal, you experience less pain and can work toward strengthening your weakened joint, as well as enjoying a better overall quality of life. 

If you’re experiencing joint pain, schedule an appointment at Rheumatology Solutions. We may have an injection that could provide you with long-lasting relief. 

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Good Health Simply

I am Dr. Thomas Hoffmann.  I'm a Rheumatologist who treats auto-immune diseases like lupus or RA where the body's immune system overreacts and attacks joints or organs in the body.

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