Written by Mr. Adam Whatley, Clinic Director
When are pain relieving injections or joint lubricants recommended to treat joint pain conditions like knee arthritis or injury? This is all dependent on the underlying cause of the problem, the predisposing factors, and desired outcome.
During this article I will be discussing when a patient might be advised to consider a therapeutic injection and what the options are - including cortisone injections, hyaluronic acid injections, platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections, or traumeel (non-steroidal) injection treatment.
Are you looking for quick temporary relief from joint pain or injury?
Often people may seek temporary relief from conditions like osteoarthritis pain so they can delay surgery, or take up a physical rehabilitation program to strengthen muscles around the joint to assist with joint health.
Cortisone (Steroid) injections are commonly used for fast, temporary relief from osteoarthritis pain. However, it is very important to acknowledge that these are often short lived and can be damaging to the joint or soft tissue long-term.
I always explain to my patients that cortisone injections will come in 3’s; 1) they work temporarily for a few weeks and then the pain comes back, 2) they are effective for up to 6 months (longer if modifications have been adopted), or 3) they do not work at all. The goal of a cortisone injection is to reduce inflammation, which is often the underlying cause of pain. They act as an anti-inflammatory, however, they do not treat the underlying cause of the problem, and can be damaging to soft tissue and cartilage long-term.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Hyaluronic acid injections act as a joint lubricant and are used to replace important joint fluid which has been lost. This loss of joint fluid has been shown to significantly increase joint degradation. In respect to pain control, hyaluronic acid injections tend to work more slowly than cortisone - the full effects may not be felt for about 2 weeks, but the effects may last longer, with the factor that this is better for tissue long term. The primary goal of a hyaluronic acid injection is to restore lost joint fluid, lubricate and nourish joint articular cartilage, and to ultimately slow the progression of degenerative changes.
Cingal is an affective treatment which combines cortisone and hyaluronic acid.
Joint Pain and Arthritis Flare
This can involve significant pain and swelling, redness, and can be are associated with not just joint injury or joint osteoarthritis but also autoimmune forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. These are known as inflammatory arthritis.
A cortisone injection may be recommended to help reduce the joint swelling and inflammation. What I tend to perform is joint aspiration (draining excessive fluid), and the treatment of an anti-inflammatory.
How to slow the progression of further joint damage and further degenerative changes
Joint osteoarthritis is defined by a loss or reduction of articular cartilage in the knee joint. Articular cartilage unfortunately does not heal and repair very quick, so consequently joint damage can be progressive and permanent. However, some medical scientists and researchers believe injections in regenerative medicine can greatly reduce or even stop the progression of osteoarthritis (from) joint injury or otherwise), Facilitate healing and even stimulate repair and regeneration, a process known as chondrogenesis.
The most popular injection treatment within regenerative medicine is platelet rich plasma (PRP).
Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP)
Damaged tissue in the body heals and repairs due to an affective blood supply. PRP treatment takes advantage of the blood's natural healing properties to repair soft tissue and damaged joint tissue, including cartilage tissue. This is performed using a small sample of the patient's own blood. PRP is extremely safe as the platelets are naturally occurring within your body and the activated concentrated platelets bring growth factors and anti-inflammatory agents into the injected problematic area.
Many clinical research studies suggest that PRP Treatment, Along with stem cell injections, and prolotherapy is effective in treating various cases of joint pain or injury. It is important is it is important to acknowledge that treatments in regenerative medicine are still relatively new, and as we all know research takes time. This being said, studies that have been produced to date show very promising results and further High quality randomised controlled studies are in progress to report on the long term effectiveness in regenerative medicine treatments.
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Don’t let pain, joint damage, sports injuries or arthritis get in the way of allowing you to do what you want. We are a specialised clinic offering pain relieving regenerative therapeutic injections in Stratford Upon Avon. Schedule a consultation at Dynamic Osteopaths & Regenerative Medicine today, and let us treat your injury, provide pain relief and get you back to your full and active lifestyle. We have clinics operating out of Henley-In-Arden, Birmingham & Bromsgrove.
Call us today 01564 330773